How to Prevent Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Human tooth with funny bacterial plaque

If you don’t maintain good dental hygiene, bacterial growth in your mouth can lead to periodontal (or gum) disease. Your gums might bleed or recede from your teeth, requiring early intervention. Gum disease is reversible if you catch it soon enough. However, if you don’t seek treatment or improve your brushing habits, a mild case of gingivitis can turn into full-blown periodontal disease with infections and tooth loss.

Fortunately, you can prevent gum disease at home with a few simple steps. Here’s how we recommend protecting yourself from periodontal disease.

How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?

Keep Your Teeth Clean

Practicing good dental hygiene is the best way to prevent gum disease. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably right after you eat. Floss between your teeth to get the plaque buildup that your toothbrush might have missed. While some people skip this step, brush your tongue to get rid of bacterial buildup.

For more protection, invest in fluoride toothpaste that makes your teeth more resistant to sugar and bacteria. You can also pick up mouthwash with anti-bacterial properties that keep your teeth clean and reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease. If a standard toothbrush doesn’t keep your teeth clean, buy an electric toothbrush that scrubs the surface.

Stop Smoking

If you develop gum disease while you’re smoking, your body has trouble fighting off the infection. This could encourage the rapid progression of the disease. As the disease worsens, you might watch your gums recede, suffer from mouth pain, and lose multiple teeth. Smoking can also cause throat, lung, or mouth cancer.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Most dentists recommend eating a balanced diet anyway, but eating fresh fruit and vegetables can protect your teeth and boost your immune system. Starchy and sugary foods encourage bacteria growth and damage your enamel. Typically, this includes processed foods like sweets, snack foods, and sugary drinks. If you don’t brush your teeth afterward, that gives the bacteria even more time to grow.

A healthy immune system can help your body fight off or slow the progression of gum disease. Eat fresh foods with plenty of antioxidants to keep your teeth and gums healthy as well as the rest of your body.

Get Dental Cleanings

Regular dental cleanings are free with most insurance policies. If you visit the dentist for a cleaning twice a year, they’ll clean out the plaque and buildup that you can’t remove with a toothbrush alone. The dentist can also give you more information about keeping your teeth and gums healthy. It might be tempting to skip these cleanings, but they’ll save you a lot of stress and money later.

What Happens if You Develop Gum Disease?

The stages of periodontitis disease vector illustration

If you treat your gums at the gingivitis stage of gum disease, your gums will return to normal. Otherwise, your gums will become increasingly infected as the disease progresses. Here’s a look at the procedures we perform on patients with gum disease.

Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP)

LANAP is a modern procedure that treats gum disease without cutting into the gums or damaging healthy tissue. This procedure uses a laser to target diseased gums and kill the bacteria. After the surgery, most patients report minimal pain and a shorter recovery time. This allows our facility to treat patients who might otherwise not be eligible for LANAP.

LANAP uses advanced technology as well as the body’s natural power to heal to restore your damaged gums. To treat periodontal disease, LANAP cleans out the bacterial infection and closes the gaps where bacteria can hide. This creates the perfect environment for your gums to regrow and reattach themselves to your teeth.

Dental Implants

Advanced gum disease can cause your teeth to loosen and eventually fall out of your gums. This makes it harder to eat, chew and function on a regular basis. We can install dental implants that look and function just like your original teeth. They’re such a perfect match that no one will notice the difference—and after a while, you won’t either.

Dental implants aren’t just for aesthetics—they can prevent future complications like bone loss. To care for your implants, all you’ll have to do is brush and floss them during your regular cleaning routine. Our implants can last for 25 years or more and provide a better quality of life for years to come.

Scaling and Root Planing

If you’re dealing with a mild case of periodontal disease, you could schedule an appointment for scaling and root planing. This procedure offers a deep cleaning that you might not get with regular dental cleaning. If you have a serious infection, the periodontist may use antibiotics to kill the bacteria in your gums.

During the “scaling” part of the procedure, the periodontist removes the plaque and tartar that have built up in the pockets. Afterward, they perform “root planning” by smoothing out the roots of your teeth. Your gums will reattach to your teeth, reversing the symptoms of gum disease.

Pinhole Surgical Technique

The pinhole surgical technique is a quick, minimally invasive procedure that treats receding gums without cutting into the tissue. In the past, periodontal treatments often involved grafting tissue from other regions in your mouth. This required stitches and typically had a long recovery period.

Instead of cutting and grafting, the pinhole surgical technique involves removing a tiny hole in your gums. The periodontist repositions your gums through this hole so they reattach to your teeth. With this method, you can recover much more quickly and experience less pain after your surgery.

Need Periodontal Treatment?

The Arizona Periodontal Group offers treatment for patients in the various stages of gum disease. We can clean out infections, repair tooth damage, fix receding gums, replace lost teeth, and perform other procedures that give you a dazzling smile again. To prevent gum disease before it starts, visit us to get your annual dental cleanings. You can also set up an appointment for sealants, exams, and cancer screenings to ensure that you maintain good dental hygiene.

In addition to periodontal treatment, we offer crown lengthening, gum whitening, deep cleanings, dental contouring, and other procedures that improve the health of your teeth and gums. Since visiting the dentist can be a little intimidating, we offer a calm, relaxing environment where you can get the necessary procedures without feeling stressed or anxious. Our professionals will keep you informed so you’re never surprised by an unexpected procedure.

We’re accepting new and returning clients, so fill out the form on our website to schedule your appointment. Contact our office if you have any questions before we get started.

Man in a dental chair smiling at the periodontist

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