4 Ways To Prevent Gum Disease

October 2, 2023

Although almost half of adults in the United States have some degree of gum disease, the condition is preventable. Consider these four steps you can take today to keep your gums disease-free.

Gum disease affects almost 50% of adults over 30 and over 70% over 65. Starting with a mild infection called gingivitis, gum disease progressively worsens over time, causing symptoms like gum tenderness, redness, and bleeding. If left untreated, the bacteria that causes gum disease can even make its way into your bloodstream. Severe periodontal disease causes chronic inflammation, which reduces your immunity and your body’s natural healing abilities.  

So, how do you avoid gum disease? At Las Positas Family Dental in Livermore, California, dentists Thi Hoang, DDS, and Theresa Hoang, DDS, welcome you for routine deep cleanings. We also teach you the importance of excellent oral hygiene.  

To avoid gum disease, start by following these four simple steps: 

1. Prioritize regular dental checkups

Routine dental exams are a cornerstone of preventive care. Your dentist at Las Positas Family Dental examines your mouth for signs of gum disease you might not detect on your own. We might use digital X-rays for a deeper look.  

Next is a professional teeth cleaning to remove bacteria buildup in the form of plaque and tartar. We use small instruments to reach every corner and crevice of your mouth.  

Schedule dental exams and cleanings every six months. During these visits, we discuss how to optimize your oral hygiene and health.  

2. Practice a daily brushing and flossing ritual

Brushing twice a day is a must. It only takes a few minutes and leaves you with fresh-smelling breath. Plus, it removes the residue left behind from food along with bacteria.  

Flossing is equally important. By flossing the gaps between your teeth, you dislodge hidden or stuck food particles. Flossing at least once a day every day lowers your risk of gum inflammation, soreness, and redness.  

3. Balance your diet

A diet lacking in certain nutrients makes it harder for your gum tissues to fight off disease-causing bacteria. To nourish your oral tissues, include plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein.  

Sugar from the foods you eat fuels gum disease as the bacteria that cause the infection feed on the sweet substance. Sugary foods and beverages stick on your teeth and accumulate in hard-to-reach areas. Minimize sodas, juices, and other sugary drinks, as well as candies, pastries, and other desserts. If you consume sugar, brush your teeth thoroughly shortly after.  

4. Manage your stress in a healthy way

Stress is a risk factor for gum disease, and so are some common vices people use to manage stress, like smoking and drinking. Stress wears down your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to gum disease. Additionally, stress may cause you to grind your teeth at night, leading to additional dental problems like tooth wear and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). 

Want to reduce the impact of stress on your oral health? You should:

  • Stop smoking
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation
  • Avoid turning to sugary foods for comfort
  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • Get plenty of sleep every night
  • Practice healthy stress management techniques like meditation or mindfulness

Cutting out substances like caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol helps you preserve your oral health and invites you to discover new, more effective ways of managing your stress.  

If you’re ready to learn more about gum disease and how to maintain your oral health, schedule a visit online or over the phone at Las Positas Family Dental today.