In the early stages of gum disease, bacteria and food particles form the pasty substance known as plaque. That bacterial infection begins to attack the gums and the plaque begins to harden into “tartar” or “dental calculus.” It’s at this juncture that gum disease advances to periodontitis which, for the most part, can’t be reversed. There are plenty of ways your dentist can treat periodontitis, but these are some things that can be done to prevent gum disease from turning into periodontitis in the first place.
At Home The best thing you can do to keep early gum disease, “gingivitis,” from advancing to severe gum disease, periodontitis, is to stay true to your oral health routine. Regular brushing and flossing are often the most effective way to keep periodontitis away, though certain health conditions can predispose many people to gum disease. Beyond regular brushing and flossing, these are other things you could try to fight gum disease at home:
• Use an electric toothbrush for a deeper, more thorough cleaning of your teeth, tongue and gums
• Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide
• Consume more antioxidants, which can lower swelling in the gums
At the Dentist’s Office Next to keeping your oral hygiene on track at home, there isn’t a better way of avoiding gum disease than going in for regular cleanings at your dentist’s office. Your dental hygienist will use specialized tools to remove tartar buildup from your teeth and below the gumline. Beyond dental cleanings, visiting the dentist’s office gives you a way to keep track of the health of your mouth. If your efforts to fight gum disease at home aren’t enough and the problem is worsening, regular checkups will give your dentist the opportunity to offer guidance and help get you back on track.
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