Gentle Dentistry

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Dentist In Kalamazoo, MI

prevent gum disease kalamazoo mi dentistGum disease has been medically linked to serious medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and even stroke. Unfortunately, many patients ignore the signs and symptoms of gum disease or are unaware that they have gum disease.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

The symptoms of gum disease can be subtle, which means many people don’t seek dental care until the disease is in its advanced stages.

Here are a few symptoms to look out for:

  • Sore gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Shifting of teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Bad breath
  • Tooth loss

Bleeding and sore gums are not the norm! If you start seeing any of these symptoms, contact our dentist right away. Treatments for gum disease vary from case to case. The sooner you come in to see us, the faster we can help.

Diagnosis of Your Gum Condition

  • Gingivitis: Gingivitis occurs when your gums become irritated by dental plaque. You may notice swelling, soreness, or bleeding when you brush your teeth. At this stage, the gum condition is still reversible.
  • Periodontitis: Periodontitis is marked by bleeding gums AND bone loss.  By this point, your gum disease can no longer be cured, only managed. Based on how much bone loss has occurred will determine your treatment options. Oftentimes, a deep cleaning (scaling) is completed.  Other more advanced stages of periodontitis may need surgery or referral to a gum specialist. Our dentist can help you come up with a plan to keep your gum disease from progressing further and maintaining the bone level that is remaining.

Sensitive, swollen, or bleeding gums can all be signs of gum disease, and it’s important to get it evaluated by a dentist. However, we have some tips to prevent gum disease before it strikes. Here are five healthy habits to adopt in order to keep gum disease at bay.

1. Oral Care

Although this may seem obvious, good oral care is crucial for healthy gums. Brushing your teeth is not enough—especially when it comes to gum disease. You should add flossing to your routine to reduce the risk of plaque building up and damaging your gums. When flossing, be sure to get under your gum line to remove any plaque.

Using an antimicrobial mouthwash low in alcohol can also be very beneficial to your oral health. Gingivitis treatment can be as simple as scheduling regular teeth cleanings and practicing good oral hygiene.  Our dentist may recommend a prescription mouth rinse to use daily for short-term use until the periodontal disease is controlled.

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C deficiency is associated with gum disease. Including more Vitamin C in your diet helps prevent gum disease.

3. Nutrition and Hydration

Eating a balanced and nutritious diet filled with vitamins and minerals boosts your immunity and helps ward off many diseases, including gum disease. Try incorporating foods that are high in collagen, beta carotene, and omega-3s for the best results. Drinking water keeps your body hydrated and promotes overall health including your oral health.

4. Avoid Tobacco

Smoking cigarettes and using tobacco products has been known to cause countless health issues, especially gum disease. Even other tobacco sources, such as chewing tobacco, cigars, and e-cigarettes, are harmful to your gums. The nicotine constricts the blood flow and can mask signs of gum disease, including bleeding of the gums.  Nicotine products make it harder to heal from the treatment of gum disease.

5. Teeth Cleanings

Seeing our dentist regularly cannot be stressed enough. A routine teeth cleaning can help prevent gum disease by removing plaque hiding in between teeth and along the gum line. During your dental cleaning, our dentists will also be able to spot signs of gum disease and treat the issue in earlier stages instead of later stages.

Call Our Office Today!

At Gentle Dentistry, our Kalamazoo dentist is here to help your smile stay healthy. If you have a question or want to make an appointment, feel free to contact us or call our office at (269) 381-3890.

Emergency Dental Care

Our dental office treats many types of traumatic dental injuries, such as teeth that have been chipped, moved, or knocked out. Please contact our Kalamazoo, MI office for help with a dental emergency.

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