Five Steps To Reduce Your Risk Of Gum Disease

Gum disease is not something that most people like to talk about. And yet, it’s one of the most common oral health issues across the country.

The Centers for Disease Control recently reported that nearly half — 47.2 percent — of adults 30 and older have some form of periodontal disease, and 70 percent of people 65 and older have gum disease.

We are mentioned this because February is Gum Disease Awareness Month. Our dentist office wants everyone in and around Fredericksburg, VA, to keep their mouths as healthy as they can be.

Among other problems, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. On the bright side, gum disease can be treated, although prevention is always the best approach.

Today, we have put together a list of five things you can do to reduce your risk of developing gum disease. We hope you will take them to heart for the sake of your smile.

And if you have questions about gum disease or need to schedule a treatment, call (540) 369-4926 to reach the office of Lloyd F. Moss Jr., D.D.S., & Lloyd F. Moss III, D.D.S.


► 1. Avoid Tobacco

To put it simply, using tobacco is one of worst things you can do for your gums. (Tobacco is bad for a lot of other reasons, too.)

Smokers, for example, are twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop gum disease. Likewise, your risk increases the more you smoke and the longer you smoke, according to the CDC.

But it’s not just smoking that is a problem. Using smokeless tobacco also weakens your gums, making them more vulnerable to infection and making gum disease harder to treat.

Quitting will reduce your risk compared to current tobacco users, but even former tobacco users have a higher risk of gum disease than non-tobacco users.

Our advice would be to stay away from tobacco completely. If you are trying to quit, you can contact the Virginia Department of Health for help.


► 2. Brush Your Teeth Twice A Day

This is something you should be doing anyway, and one of the reasons why is because it reduces your risk of gum disease.

Brushing removes bacteria and plaque, a sticky film created by bacteria. Since the bacteria that cause gum disease live in your mouth and multiply daily, brushing is one way to remove many of them each day. By keeping the bacteria population under control, you are less likely to develop gum disease.

Each time you brush, scrub your teeth for two minutes, being sure to clean them on all sides. You should use a toothpaste with fluoride and a soft-bristled toothbrush.


► 3. Clean Between Your Teeth Daily

For many people this means flossing, and unfortunately, most people do not floss daily. A recent American Dental Association survey found that only 40 percent of people say they floss daily. (In a separate survey, 1 in 4 people admitted that they lie to their dentists about how often they floss.)

Flossing is important because it is how you clean the spaces between your teeth and below your gumline. Your toothbrush can’t get into these space as well to remove plaque or small bits of food.

If you are one of the people who would rather scrub a toilet than floss your teeth, then we would recommend using a different interdental cleaner.

Many people find flossers more comfortable to use than dental floss. Flossers can usually be found in the toothpaste aisle. They have short handles with a small strand of floss on one end.

Water flossers are another great options. All you have to do is aim a stream of water in the same places you would use dental floss.


► 4. Know The Symptoms

This isn’t going to prevent gum disease, but recognizing the symptoms can encourage you to get treatment before it gets out of hand.

Healthy gums should be pink and firm to the touch. If your gums are redder than usual or look swollen, you may have gingivitis. Bleeding when you brush and floss is another sign of gingivitis.

If you gums start to feel tender or sore or you have lingering bad breath, your infection may have become periodontitis, which is an advanced form of gum disease.

If you notice these signs, contact the office of Dr. Moss & Dr. Moss right away to find out what can be done to remove your infection.


► 5. Get Professional Dental Cleanings

Last, but not least, you should receive professional dental cleanings on a regular basis. Twice a year is a good guideline, but patients with chronic gum disease may want to have more frequent cleanings.

During your visits to our dentist office in Fredericksburg, VA, our dental professionals will remove any plaque or tartar from your mouth and polish your teeth. While you are here, we will examine your mouth for any signs of gum disease or other oral health problems.

To schedule your next cleaning, call (540) 369-4926 or contact us online.