5 Ways to Lower Your Risk for Gum Disease

About half of all American adults suffer from gum disease, and among older folks, that number is even higher. Not only can gum disease lead to serious infections and tooth loss, but some studies show it also increases the risks of systemic health problems, like heart disease, osteoporosis, and some cancers.

One of the problems with gum disease is that it causes few (or no) symptoms early on, allowing the disease to progress untreated. Julie Strauss, DMD, and our team at Strauss Dental want every patient to enjoy optimal oral health at every age. Here, we offer five simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of gum disease and the complications it can cause.

#1: Improve your brushing technique

The American Dental Association recommends twice-daily brushing, but it’s not just how often you brush that matters. You need to use the right tools and techniques to substantially decrease your risk of gum disease. To get the most benefits from your brushing routine:

The ADA offers illustrated guidelines for brushing here.

#2: Don’t skip flossing

Brushing is important for getting rid of sticky plaque that can lead to gum disease. But toothbrushes are limited in how much of the tooth surface they can reach. Floss gets between teeth to help loosen and remove plaque that forms in these hard-to-reach areas.

Like brushing, flossing technique matters:

You can see complete flossing instructions here (with illustrations)

#3: Use mouthwash

Mouthwashes deliver germ-fighting solutions to every area of your mouth, including hard-to-reach areas along the gums and between your teeth. Use these tips to maximize the benefits of your mouthwash:

There are literally dozens of mouthwashes available over the counter. Our team can suggest the best one for your oral health.

#4: Quit smoking

Smoking isn’t just bad for your lungs. The chemicals in smoke interfere with circulation, too, and that has a direct effect on your gum health. Research shows smoking:

Plus, the longer and more you smoke, the more your risk for gum disease increases. 

#5: Stay current with checkups

At-home care is a vital component in the fight against gum disease, and so are regular professional cleanings and exams. Our team is skilled in identifying early signs of gum disease, so you can get treatment before more serious complications occur.

Regular cleanings remove hard tartar that can’t be eliminated with brushing and flossing, and they also pinpoint areas where your at-home routine needs improvements. And of course, our team will check for other issues, such as receding gums, that could increase your risks of other oral health problems.

Keep gum disease at bay

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults, but with a few simple, preventive steps, you can reduce your risk and protect your healthy smile for life. To learn how we can help, call the office in Oregon City, Oregon, or book your visit online today.

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