Reducing Your Risk of Periodontal Disease
The following steps can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease:
- ]]>Stop smoking.]]>
- ]]>Eat nutritiously.]]>
- ]]>Follow good dental self-care practices.]]>
- ]]>Get regular professional dental care.]]>
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]]>)
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.
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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