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Preventing Periodontal (Gum) Disease |United Concordia

Common Dental Questions

Preventing Periodontal (Gum) Disease

 

Question:

How can I prevent periodontal (gum) disease?

Answer:

The best way to prevent periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, is relatively simple. It’s all about reducing the number of bacteria that reside in your mouth.

  • Brush twice a day
  • Floss once a day
  • Visit  your dentist regularly

 

Avoid tobacco products

Tobacco use plays a major role in the development of periodontal disease. The greater the exposure is to tobacco, the greater the risk. Kicking the habit is the most important step a tobacco user can take to prevent disease and restore periodontal health.

 

Eating right for your smile

Eating sweet, starchy, or sticky foods and sugary drinks, especially between meals, creates the ideal environment in the mouth for bacteria to grow.

  • Limit candy, soft drinks, dried fruits and fruit juices
  • Snack on unsweetened yogurt, cheese and fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Replace sugary drinks, especially between meals, with milk or water  

 

Help your child avoid tooth decay

Babies are born without harmful bacteria in their mouths. Parents, siblings or other caregivers can infect them with the bacteria through the exchange of saliva. To prevent this, parents should establish good oral health habits for themselves and their children as early in life as possible:

  • Do not clean a baby’s pacifier by putting it in your own mouth
  • Avoid sharing things like eating utensils or toothbrushes with children 

 

Diabetes and oral health—the connection

Diabetics must be especially careful to take care of their teeth and gums. Studies have shown that people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing gum disease. The presence of gum disease also makes it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood-sugar levels.

Taking the steps to reduce your risk of periodontal disease could help you avoid costly and potentially painful dental treatments down the road, so start taking better care of your teeth today!