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5 Ways to Prevent Gum Disease and Why it's So Important

The numbers surrounding gum disease, or periodontitis, are alarming. The CDC reports that nearly 65 million Americans over the age of 30 have mild, moderate, or severe gum disease, leading to irreversible damage if not treated.

At Simple Smiles, located in Johnson City, Tennessee, we are dedicated to helping patients practice preventive oral health for a lifetime of healthy smiles. That’s why Sarah Carlisle, DMD, and Drew Shabo, DDS, offer the following guide to preventing gum disease.

The perils of gum disease

Gum disease starts benignly enough as gingivitis, which is an inflammation around the edges of your gums. Left unchecked, bacteria can work their way farther under your gum line, where they can destroy your soft connective tissues, as well as your teeth and bone.

This leads to increasingly loose teeth that will eventually fall out. In extreme cases, gum disease can even lead to bone loss in your jaw. 

To prevent this from happening, simply follow these five great tips:

1. Stay on top of cleaning

The care you provide at home is paramount for healthy teeth and gums, and this care should include:

The flossing, especially, helps dislodge bacteria-harboring food that’s stuck around your gums.

2. Keep up with your professional cleanings

One of the best ways to stay one step ahead of gum disease is to keep up with your twice-yearly professional cleanings with us. These visits allow us to monitor your gum health and will enable us to remove tough tartar from your teeth.

3. Quit smoking

If you’re a smoker, we’re going to add gum disease to the long list of problems influenced by this habit. Smoking weakens your immune system, compromising your body’s ability to fight off infections like gum disease.

4. Get your vitamins

Eating a well-balanced diet full of beneficial nutrients can go a long way toward maintaining the health of your gums. Look for foods that contain antioxidants, which help boost your immune system. A great place to start is by adding more fruits, vegetables, and nuts, to your diet.

5. Stop clenching or grinding

If you clench or grind your teeth, you may be weakening their supportive structures, leaving them more susceptible to gum disease. To prevent this, we can set you up with a mouthguard.

To learn more about preventing gum disease and for all of your general and cosmetic dental needs, please call us at 423-241-6070 or use our convenient online scheduling tool to request your next appointment.

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