4 Proven Strategies to Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease affects millions of adults and can have dire consequences on oral and physical health. This article explains the common signs and symptoms of gum disease, simple steps to prevent it, and where to find the best gum disease experts in Santa Clara.

Dental patient man is happy and relaxed in dental chair in Santa Clara, CA

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, affects nearly half of all adults over the age of 30. It is a serious oral health issue linked to several health conditions, including a 19% increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease, a more than three times greater risk of mortality for diabetics — and preterm birth, low birth weight, and preeclampsia in pregnant women. 

Continue reading to learn more about gum disease, four simple ways to prevent it, and where to find the best preventative dentist in Santa Clara. 

What Is Gum Disease? 

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the tissues surrounding and supporting teeth. It is primarily caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar on the teeth, which leads to a bacterial infection and subsequent inflammation of the gums. 

If left untreated, periodontal disease can progress and result in gum recession, bone loss, and eventually tooth loss. Additionally, research shows that gum disease raises your likelihood of other systemic health issues such as heart disease and diabetes complications. Therefore, early detection and proper management of periodontal disease are essential for maintaining oral health and overall well-being.

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease? 

The symptoms of periodontal disease can vary slightly depending on the stage of the condition. In the early stages, known as gingivitis, symptoms may include red, swollen, and tender gums and bleeding during brushing or flossing. 

As the disease progresses to periodontitis, additional symptoms start to arise, including: 

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together 

It's important to note that some individuals may not experience noticeable symptoms, making regular dental check-ups essential for early detection and treatment of periodontal disease.

How Can I Prevent Gum Disease? 

Periodontal disease is a serious condition, but it is also easy to prevent and reverse if you are in its early stages. One common question we get about gum disease is, “How can I prevent it?” Below are the top four ways you can ensure your gums stay healthy: 

1. Brushing Twice a Day 

Brushing your teeth twice daily is a fundamental practice for preventing periodontal disease. Using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush effectively cleans teeth and gums, reducing the accumulation of harmful plaque and bacteria that can lead to gum disease. Additionally, proper brushing techniques, including gentle circular motions and reaching all surfaces of the teeth, can further support gum health. 

2. Flossing at Least Once a Day 

Flossing is another critical component of preventing gum disease. It helps remove plaque and food particles between the teeth and along the gum line — areas that a toothbrush may not reach effectively. 

Several studies found that consistent flossing and regular brushing reduce the risk of gum disease more than brushing alone. 

3. Regular Dental Check-ups and Cleanings 

Regular dental checkups are essential for preventing gum disease. During these appointments, your dentist can thoroughly assess the health of your gums, identify any signs of gum disease, and provide professional dental cleanings that remove plaque and tartar buildup. 

Additionally, early detection of gum disease is crucial for successful treatment and preventing its progression to more advanced stages. 

4. Stop Smoking 

Smoking is directly linked to gum disease, oral cancer, and other physical conditions. Additionally, smoking can mask the symptoms of gum disease, making it harder to detect and treat in its early stages. Stopping this harmful habit can reduce your risk of developing gum disease and improve your oral health. 

By taking steps to reduce your risk of gum disease, you are not only improving your oral health but also your physical health. This is important for everyone, especially if you have chronic conditions like heart disease or diabetes or are pregnant. 

What’s the Best Treatment for Gum Disease?

Gum disease treatment typically involves the same steps as prevention — good brushing and flossing habits, avoiding smoking, and regular dental exams. 

In the early stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis, professional dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar and improved oral hygiene practices at home are usually sufficient to reverse the condition. However, in more advanced stages, known as periodontitis, treatment may involve deep cleaning procedures such as scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line, and surgical interventions to address advanced gum and bone damage. 

Additionally, some medications and surgical procedures can help with advanced gum disease, including: 

  • Antiseptic mouthwash to help clean particles from pockets in your gum line where bacteria and tartar hide. 
  • Antibiotics to clear any infection from your gums. 
  • Enzyme suppressants that block certain enzymes in your mouth from breaking down gum tissue. 
  • Bone and tissue grafts to reinforce thin gums or fill in places where the gums or jaw bone have receded. 

Ultimately, seeing a dentist specializing in preventative dentistry is your best safeguard against gum disease, regardless of the stage. 

Where to Find Gum Disease Treatment from the Best Family Dentist in Santa Clara 

With state-of-the-art technology and an expert staff of dental professionals, Crestpointe Dental is a leader in modern preventive dentistry in the Santa Clara area. 

Led by Dr. Tejero-Ugay, our team is committed to providing modern, high-quality dental care, including preventative, restorative dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry. 

At Crestpointe Dental, you can expect a welcoming and relaxing environment and knowledgeable staff who prioritize your overall health and well-being along with your oral health. With our proactive approach to preventative dentistry, we can help you avoid or reverse early gum disease and restore damage from advanced gum disease. 

Ready to see Santa Clara’s best preventative dentist about your gum health?

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Staying on top of your family’s oral health is incredibly important and will have a lifelong impact. You can take a proactive approach to oral health by scheduling your appointment with Dr. Cresma, a top-reviewed dentist in Santa Clara.

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