DOs and DON'Ts For Fighting Gum Disease

Whether you call it gum disease or periodontal disease, you can trust us when we say you don’t want it.

Nevertheless, most people will develop gum disease in one form or another during their lives. When it happens to you, Dietrich Dental Services wants you to be prepared to act.

Likewise, we want you to know what you can do to prevent gum disease from either taking hold in your mouth or from becoming more severe.

And always remember that the team at our dentist office in Port Charlotte, FL, is here to answer your questions and to provide the dental care you need. You can contact us online, or you can call us at 941-625-7877.

With that in mind, here are some tips for keeping your mouth free from gum disease.


➤ DON’T use tobacco

We can’t put it any simpler than that. Using tobacco of any kind is bad for your oral health and your overall health.

Any kind of tobacco use will increase your risk of developing gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Smokers, for example, are twice as likely to develop gum disease as nonsmokers.

The damage caused by tobacco also makes it more difficult to treat gum disease. Our advice is to avoid tobacco completely. If you are using tobacco now, we encourage you to quit. We know that can be difficult, but you can get help by contacting the Tobacco Free Florida program of the Florida Department of Health at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW.


➤ DO have a good oral hygiene routine

Gum disease is caused by bacteria. These bacteria already live inside your mouth. The bacteria also multiply daily, which is why you need to brush and floss every day to remove as many bacteria as you can.

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes at a time twice a day. Using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, be sure to scrub your teeth on all sides.

The ADA also recommends flossing your teeth once daily. This is because there are places your toothbrush can’t reach (between your teeth and below your gumline). Dental floss can get into those spaces to remove plaque and small food particles that bacteria use.


➤ DON’T ignore the symptoms

Healthy gums look pink and feel firm. If your gums are redder than usual or seem swollen, you may have gingivitis, which is a mild form of gum disease.

Bleeding gums are another symptom that people too often ignore. If your gums bleed when you brush and floss, it can be an indication that you aren’t brushing and flossing as often as you should. It also can indicate that you aren’t doing so correctly.

The staff at Dietrich Dental Services will be happy to demonstrate the proper technique for brushing and flossing. Just ask during your next appointment.


➤ DO keep your diabetes under control

Along with tobacco use, having diabetes can be one of the biggest factors increasing your risk of having gum disease.

If you have diabetes, it’s particularly important that you keep an eye on the health of your gums. People with diabetes are more likely to have dry mouth, which increases your chances of developing periodontal disease.

And some research suggests that having gum disease can make it more difficult to control your blood sugar levels.

Either way, keeping your diabetes under control is a good idea.


➤ DON’T skip flossing

We know we already mentioned that you should have a good oral hygiene routine, but we want to reiterate the importance of cleaning between your teeth.

The ADA reported on a recent survey. According to the results, only 4 in 10 people flossing daily, while 2 in 10 never floss.

We also know that many people hate flossing. If you are one of them, consider using a different interdental cleaner.

Flossers can be found in most toothpaste aisles, and many people find them more comfortable to use than dental floss. Water flossers have proven to be equally effective at preventing plaque buildup.

And interdental brushes are a good option for other people. Just be sure to use brushes that fit comfortably between your teeth. You should not have to force them into those spaces.


➤ DO make regular visits to our dentist office in Port Charlotte, FL

Professional dental cleanings and exams serve two important purposes.

First, we will remove any plaque or tartar buildup that we find. That alone will reduce your risk of gum disease and other oral health issues.

Second, we will be watching for any signs and symptoms of gum disease. Regular visits make it more likely that we will catch a problem in the early stages when it is easier to treat.

To schedule your next cleaning at Dietrich Dental Services, call 941-625-7877 or fill out our online form.