by Carson-DeWitt R

Lifestyle Changes to Manage Periodontal Disease

Even if you have already been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you may be able to avoid progression of the disease or possible complications by following your dentist’s recommendations for managing your condition.

Follow Good Self-care Practices

  • Brush your teeth twice daily:
    • Use an end-rounded, soft bristled toothbrush.
    • If you have trouble managing with a manual toothbrush, consider using an electric toothbrush.
    • Brush first with a dry brush; follow this by brushing with toothpaste.
    • Dry brushing should take about 90 seconds.
    • Brushing with toothpaste should take about 30 seconds.
    • Use a toothpaste containing fluoride.
    • Hold your brush at a 45° angle with the bristles toward the gum.
    • Brush every tooth surface and along the gum line, using small, circular motions.
  • Clean between your teeth once each day, using either floss or another cleaning aid prescribed by your dentist.
  • Ask your dentist if you would benefit from a fluoride mouth rinse.
  • Visit your dentist for professional cleaning and a thorough check-up every six months.

When to Contact Your Dentist

Do not wait for your regularly scheduled dental appointment if you notice:
  • Increase in gum tenderness, redness, or bleeding
  • Pus between your teeth or coming from your gums
  • Loose teeth or any teeth that seem less stable
  • New onset of pain or discomfort

Managing Periodontal Disease

Stop Smoking
Smoking is a major risk factor for the development of periodontal disease. Talk to your doctor about programs and aids to help you stop smoking .

Eat a Healthy Diet

A nutritious diet can help you fight all forms of infection, including the kind that causes periodontal disease. Ask your dentist or doctor whether you would benefit from:
  • Working with a nutritionist
  • Taking supplements, especially vitamin C

References

Gum disease. American Dental Association's Mouth Healthy website. Available at: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/g/gum-disease. Accessed October 14, 2013.

Gum disease information. American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: http://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease.htm. Accessed October 14, 2013.

Periodontal (gum) disease. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/GumDisease. Accessed October 14, 2013.

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