Prevention & Treatment
Visit your dentist regularly. Regular dental exams aid in the early detection of gum disease. By the time you recognize you have gum disease it will likely have progressed. If signs of disease are detected early your dentist can work with you to stop the progression of the disease and may recommend more frequent dental examinations.
Clean your mouth twice daily with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Don’t forget to floss daily to remove plaque between the teeth that your toothbrush can't reach. Daily cleaning alone will not remove all the plaque and tartar build up. Regular professional cleanings, as part of your regular dental appointments, are an important preventive measure to remove tartar.
Don’t smoke. Smoking increases your risk of developing gum disease.
Eat a balanced diet.
The earlier gum disease is caught, the more options available. Successful treatment depends on the removal of the irritants (plaque and tartar) as well as limiting the depth of pockets between the teeth and gums. Treatment may be non-surgical or surgical.
Improved daily brushing and flossing along with more frequent recall visits for professional dental cleanings may be enough to stop the progression of the disease in the early stages (or reverse the damage). If the pockets are deep, a more specialized form of cleaning known as root planing may be necessary. For advanced cases, minor surgical procedures can be used to reduce pockets, regenerate lost bone support and repair gum tissue that has receded.
Speak to your dentist about your individual treatment needs and options.
In more advanced cases your dentist may refer you to a periodontist. This is a specialist that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease and subsequently the maintenance of periodontal health.