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Reducing Your Risk of Periodontal Disease
The following steps can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease:
- Follow good dental self-care practices.
- Get regular professional dental care.
- Stop smoking.
- Eat nutritiously.
Brush your teeth twice daily:
- Use an end-rounded, soft-bristled toothbrush.
- If you have trouble managing with a manual toothbrush, consider using an electric toothbrush.
- Brush first with a dry brush; follow this by brushing with toothpaste.
- Dry brushing should take about 90 seconds.
- Brushing with toothpaste should take about 30 seconds.
- Use a toothpaste containing fluoride.
- Hold your brush at a 45° angle with the bristles toward the gum.
- Brush every tooth surface and along the gum line, using small, circular motions.
- Clean between your teeth once each day, using either floss or another cleaning aid prescribed by your dentist
- Ask your dentist if you would benefit from a fluoride mouth rinse.
You should see your dentist every six months for a careful cleaning and for a thorough dental checkup. Furthermore, if you’ve already been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you should have a more thorough cleaning every three months.
Smoking is a major risk factor for the development of periodontal disease. Talk to your doctor about programs and aids to help you stop smoking.
A nutritious diet can help you fight all forms of infection, including the kind that causes periodontal disease. Ask your doctor whether you would benefit from:
- Working with a nutritionist
- Taking vitamin supplements, especially vitamin C
Gum disease. American Dental Association Mouth Healthy website. Available at: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/g/gum-disease. Accessed July 27, 2011.
Periodontal (gum) disease. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/GumDisease. Updated March 2011. Accessed July 27, 2011.
Preventing periodontal disease. American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: https://www.perio.org/consumer/prevent-gum-disease. Accessed July 27, 2011.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2015
- Update Date: 09/17/2014