How to Prevent Gum Disease in 7 Easy Steps

We all know that gum disease can lead to gum recession and loose teeth but there is more to it than that. Gum disease not only destroys your beautiful smile, it can raise the likelihood that you will suffer from a host of systemic illnesses. Cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are more likely to develop in those with gum disease. If maintaining healthy gums can prevent illness, how can we best avoid gum disease in Ft. Lauderdale, FL?

The Low Stress Way to Healthy Gums

  1. Brush a minimum of twice per day. More is better but at the very least, you must clear the bacteria and plaque from your teeth morning and night.
  2. Floss once a day. No one likes to floss but it only takes two minutes and the health benefits are numerous. Your periodontist will tell you to use string floss to get the areas around the teeth; floss picks will not access these areas.
  3. Schedule twice yearly cleanings. Professional cleanings tackle the plaque below the gum line and places you cannot reach.
  4. Visit your doctor once a year for an exam. Your dentist or periodontist can monitor your gums for signs of gum disease. Early detection is critical.
  5. Watch for symptoms of gum disease. Bleeding gums are a sure sign – and the first sign—that something is wrong. If your gums bleed when you brush, call your doctor to schedule an appointment. Early treatments can be as simple as antibiotics or deep cleanings.
  6. Swap your chips for fruits and vegetables. When you bite into an apple, the fiber scrubs your teeth clean and you create more saliva, which rinses away bacteria. They also provide you with vital nutrients.
  7. Check your habits. If you smoke, stop. It is terrible for your gums. If you chew gum, switch to sugar-free. When you are on the run and cannot brush after a meal, sugar-free gum may actually help to clear food particles from your teeth.

These are the basics to keeping you free from gum disease in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. For more information, call our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Tom McCawley. Dr. McCawley can help you determine whether you are at risk for periodontal disease and your options for treatment.

Why You Should Choose a Periodontist for Dental Implants

Many patients are unaware of what makes a periodontist different than a general dentist, especially when it comes to the placement of dental implants. A periodontist is a dental specialist who has received an additional three years of training focused on the hard and soft tissues of the mouth. This additional education gives periodontists an in-depth knowledge of surgical procedures and how to perform them for improved success.

While it is true that many general dentists can place dental implants themselves, there are many reasons you should still choose a periodontist in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Dental implants can last a long time, often the rest of a patient’s life if they are properly cared for. This also means that the mouth needs to have healthy gums, bone and be free of disease. Periodontal (gum) disease is a common concern for many patients and often restricts the ability to have implants placed until the disease is cleared and the patient has healthy gums again. Periodontists are also specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease to ensure a successful implant placement.

Since dental implants are a surgical procedure, there is a risk of complications if the doctor does not have advanced training. Studies have shown that implants placed by specialists have a lower rate of complications than those placed by general dentists. Most implants placed by periodontists have a 98% success rate! Why risk this significant investment to your health and happiness to anyone less than a specialist in implantology?

When replacing a missing tooth, you want it your dental implant to look natural and blend seamlessly in with your existing teeth. This is an aesthetic touch that periodontists study and understand. A periodontist is able to replace a missing tooth in a highly aesthetic area, like a front tooth, to make it blend in with your natural teeth and gums. This is a challenging location to place an implant as there is almost zero room for error. Choosing a specialist ensures that your new tooth is restored with attractiveness in mind.

Drs. Tom and Mark McCawley are experienced periodontists in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and are specialized in the placement of dental implants to improve health and aesthetics to the mouth. If you are seeking to replace missing teeth with dental implants, schedule a consultation at our office today!

5 Natural Foods that Promote Healthy Gums

March is National Nutrition Month! Did you know that nutrition plays a vital role in the health of your teeth and gums, in addition to your body as a whole? While maintaining proper dental health in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, is important, eating a diet rich in natural nutrients can help provide additional protection against cavities and gum disease. Our periodontist, Dr. Tom McCawley, outlines some of the best foods for your gum health below.


Leafy Greens—Dark, leafy greens such as spinach and kale are full of vitamins and minerals like fiber, which requires a little extra work to chew. This helps produce saliva that washes away bacteria in the mouth and helps prevent cavities.

Cheese and Yogurt—Calcium, protein-rich dairy products (including milk) help to ward off acids from bacteria buildup in the mouth. Eating cheese can help raise the pH levels in the mouth and help lower risk for tooth decay and disease.

Vegetables—Celery and carrots are high in fiber and Vitamin A, both helping to increase the production of saliva in the mouth. Celery is often seen as “nature’s dental floss,” and can be combined with cream cheese or peanut butter for a tasty, healthy snack.

Fruit—Apples provide a great source of fiber and Vitamin C. In addition, their high water content can help wash away plaque and provide natural stimulation to the gums. Apples do contain natural sugar, so be sure to brush your teeth after.

Ginger Root—This “healing” herb contains natural anti-inflammatory properties that help fight off bacteria and preventing in the mouth. Ginger can be consumed raw, in hot tea, shredded into stir-fry, or baked into pies and pastries.


Does your dental health in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, need a nutritional boost? Sometimes incorporating even a few of these healthy alternatives to sugars and sweets can improve your oral health. If you are showing signs of gum disease, such as bleeding, swollen gums, visit our periodontist to receive a consultation and learn about the best ways to care for your gums and teeth!