Eight Helpful Tips to Prevent Gum Disease

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Gum disease or periodontal disease is an infection that is caused by a buildup of plaque on teeth. When left untreated, it can progressively destroy gum and jawbone tissues because of bacteria in gum pockets. It is the leading cause of tooth loss for adults. To help protect your smile from gum disease, Dr. Matthew Ward at Bay City Dental Center in Bay City, MI provides gum disease treatment, including deep cleanings for the teeth that help to treat gum disease. He also offers his patients helpful information on how to best prevent gum disease.

Gum disease symptoms

When gum disease is impacting your oral health, you may experience some of these gum disease signs or symptoms, including:

  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss

  • Chronic or persistent bad breath

  • Swollen, puffy, red, or tender gums

  • Tooth sensitivity

  • Gum recession

  • Pus around the gumline

  • Teeth that are moving or feel loose

  • Changes in your bite

When you suspect that you have gum disease, it’s important to immediately schedule a dental exam with Dr. Ward.

Stages of gum disease

Periodontal disease is broken up into four stages:

  1. Gingivitis: This is the only stage of the disease that is reversible because it hasn’t attacked the bones yet. Bleeding gums is usually one of the first symptoms experienced by patients. However, most symptoms are painless, which is what makes scheduling annual dental exams and routine dental cleanings at Bay City Dental Center so important as Dr. Ward can diagnose it quickly.

  2. Slight Periodontal Disease: Slight periodontal disease is the second stage of gum disease that isn’t reversible but is manageable. Once you reach stage two, the infection has spread to the bone and has started to destroy bones. The bacteria have become more aggressive, which causes bone loss. Scaling and root planing can deep clean the teeth and gums, and remove deposits of bacteria that are deeply rooted in your gums.

  3. Moderate Periodontal Disease: The third stage of periodontal disease has more probing depths, which means that even more bacteria has begun to attack the bones and even gotten into the bloodstream too. We use scaling and root planing to thoroughly clean the area at this stage.

  4. Advanced Periodontal Disease: The final stage occurs when the infection has evolved into disease-causing bacteria. This stage requires periodontal surgery to clean the deep bacteria-filled pockets. When left untreated, it can lead to gaps in your smile, tooth loss, gum recession, and other serious health problems.

We tell our patients in Bay City, Saginaw, and Midland, MI that treating periodontal disease quickly is important. We teach our patients good oral hygiene habits that help them halt the progression of gum disease.

Gum disease prevention tips

Preventing the development and progression of gum disease is important for patients. Dr. Ward suggests the following gum disease prevention tips that help protect your health and smile in Bay City, MI:

  1. Maintain a good oral hygiene routine: Brushing your teeth at least twice each day and flossing daily is imperative to your oral health. It minimizes the accumulation of bacteria, plaque, and tartar, which cause gingivitis.

  2. Use a fluoridated toothpaste: Fluoride strengthens your tooth enamel, the outermost part of your teeth. When your enamel is strong, it is less likely to develop tooth decay.

  3. Use an antibacterial mouthwash: Rinse with mouthwash once daily to help manage bacteria levels in your mouth. This also helps prevent acid erosion of your tooth enamel.

  4. Schedule biannual dental cleanings and annual dental exams: Routine preventive care visits at Bay City Dental Center give Dr. Ward the chance to clean plaque and tartar from your teeth to prevent gum disease. He can also monitor your health for tooth decay and other oral health issues.

  5. Eat a healthy diet: Eating healthy foods helps with your health overall. It also protects your tooth enamel, which can erode and weaken with a high sugar or starch diet.

  6. Change your lifestyle: Several factors put you at a higher risk for developing gum disease, such as genetics, smoking, or certain medical conditions, like diabetes. We can discuss your risk factors with you and work closely with your physician to help preserve your oral and general health.

  7. Wear a mouth guard: If you grind your teeth, you should wear a custom mouth guard that protects your teeth from damage.

  8. Don’t ignore changes: When you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, a toothache, or other discomfort, never ignore it. It is signaling a problem that Dr. Ward can detect during a dental exam at our Bay City, MI dental office.

Learn gum disease prevention tips at an annual dental exam

Gum disease cannot be cured, but with the help of Dr. Matthew Ward and our team at Bay City Dental Center, it can be prevented, treated, and controlled. We offer gum disease treatments that help patients in Bay City, MI and the surrounding communities have optimal oral health. If you are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease, schedule an appointment for a dental exam today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.