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How to Prevent Gum Disease

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease is the most common oral health problem today. Despite its widespread occurrence, it is, thankfully, quite preventable.

Practicing good oral hygiene is the cornerstone of prevention with gum disease. Brushing twice a day, daily flossing and getting regular professional cleanings goes a long way toward preventing the disease. Along with the proceeding, using an antibacterial mouth rinse can also help in keeping the disease at bay. In fact, gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, can often be reversed simply through adopting good oral hygiene habits at home.

Certain risk factors increase the likelihood of developing gum disease. Limiting these things can reduce your risk.

• Smoking: Smoking significantly increases the risk for gum disease, and the risk increases for every additional cigarette smoked each day. Cutting back or quitting altogether can help.
• Diet: Eating a diet high in sugar or carbohydrates increases the risk of gum disease. Limiting sugars and snacks between meals can reduce the risk.
• Stress: Stress releases hormones that can cause or worsen gum disease. Reducing stress or Engaging in stress relieving activities can help.
• Medications: Some medications can produce dry mouth or overgrowth of gums, which can both lead to gum disease. Changing to a different medication that does not have these side effects may be possible.

Other risk factors cannot be controlled. They include:

• Medical conditions, such as diabetes and diseases that affect the immune system.
• Changes in hormones during pregnancy, menstruation or menopause.
• Increased age, especially for those over age 35.
• Gum disease runs in some families.

Diligence in oral hygiene and getting regular professional cleanings is the only way to minimize or prevent the disease in these cases. Sometimes periodontal treatments may be needed to keep gum disease under control.

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