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.

Connecting Gum Disease to Systemic Illness

How you care for your smile can make a big difference in your overall health. Research has shown that gum disease may be linked to systemic illness. Periodontal infection begins with the bacteria that live in the plaque on your teeth. In a healthy mouth, the bacteria are cleared away with good oral care and regular dental cleanings. When flossing and brushing are neglected, however, the bacteria irritate and infect the tissue, resulting in inflammation and bleeding gums. These are the first signs of gum disease in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and even this early stage of gingivitis begins to affect your overall health.

How Can a Seemingly Small Infection Cause Such Large Problems?

One of the ways in which gum disease can cause havoc is through the bloodstream. Bacteria that have infected the bloodstream can also circulate throughout the entire body. When you have an infection, part of the body’s response includes inflammation. Over time, the inflammation of periodontal infection can weaken your body’s immune system. A few of the conditions gum disease is known to affect include:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Certain Types of Cancer

What You Can Do to Prevent Systemic Illness

What does this mean for the millions of people that have this chronic periodontal infection? The good news is that there are many safe, effective treatments available for gum disease in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, procedures that are conveniently performed in the office of your dentist or periodontist. Antibiotic therapy, scaling and root planing, and gum surgery can treat your bleeding gums while preventing the development of additional health problems.

If you are experiencing the systems of periodontal disease and would like a consultation, call our office to schedule a consultation with Drs. Tom and Mark McCawley. We can improve your smile and help you regain control of your health.