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Reducing Your Risk of Periodontal Disease
The following steps can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease:
- Follow good dental self-care practices.
- Get regular professional dental care.
- Stop smoking.
- Eat nutritiously.
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.
- 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.
You should see your dentist every 6 months for a careful cleaning and for a thorough dental checkup. If you’ve already been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you should schedule a cleaning every 3 months.
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.
A nutritious diet can help you fight all forms of infection. It may also help you prevent foods that can be damaging or irritating to your teeth and gums. Ask your doctor whether you would benefit from working with a nutritionist.
Gum (Periodontal) Disease. NIH SeniorHealth website. Available at: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/periodontaldisease/riskfactorsandprevention/01.html. Accessed August 17, 2016.
Periodontal disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/OralHealth/periodontal%5Fdisease/. Updated March 10, 2015. Accessed August 17, 2016.
Periodontal (gum) disease: Causes, symptoms, and treatments. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/GumDiseases/PeriodontalGumDisease.htm#riskFactors.Updated September 2013. Accessed August 17, 2016.
Preventing periodontal disease. American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: https://www.perio.org/consumer/prevent-gum-disease. Accessed August 17, 2016.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2017
- Update Date: 11/01/2017