Lifestyle Changes to Manage Periodontal Disease
Even if you have already been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you may be able to avoid progression of the disease or possible complications by following your dentist’s recommendations for managing your condition.
- Stop smoking.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Follow good self-care practices.
Managing Periodontal Disease
Eat a Healthy Diet
A ]]>nutritious diet]]> can help you fight all forms of infection, including the kind that causes periodontal disease. Ask your dentist or doctor whether you would benefit from:
- Working with a nutritionist
- Taking supplements (especially ]]>vitamin C]]>)
Follow Good Self-care Practices
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.
- Visit your dentist for professional cleaning and a thorough check-up every six months.
When to Contact Your Dentist
Don’t wait for your regularly scheduled dental appointment if you notice:
- Increase in gum tenderness, redness, or bleeding
- Pus between your teeth or coming from your gums
- Loose teeth or any teeth that seem less stable
- New onset of pain or discomfort
Gum disease: what you need to know. American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: http://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease.htm. Updated May 2008. Accessed April 23, 2009.
Periodontal (gum) disease. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/GumDisease/. Updated December 2008. Accessed April 23, 2009.
Periodontal (gum) diseases. American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org/public/topics/periodontal_diseases.asp. Updated March 2005. Accessed April 23, 2009.
Last reviewed April 2009 by ]]>Laura Morris-Olson, DMD]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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