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Prevention is always easier than a cure and that is particularly true in the case of gum disease. Simple measures that all of us can do will ensure that gum disease does not become a problem for you or your family. Read on to find out more.

Perhaps you are suffering from initial gum disease or know someone who is, perhaps you are just careful about your oral hygiene and would like to keep your teeth healthy lifelong. Either way, wanting to prevent gum disease is a major victory on its own because by the time most people realize there is something wrong, it is too late.

Periodontal disease or gum disease is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to treat but it can be prevented through simple measures taken at the right time. It also must be kept in mind that the destruction caused by gum disease is often irreversible [1]. Bleeding gums treatment is usually provided to people suffering from gingivitis and that is the stage just before deep-rooted gum disease starts to set in.

Here are the ways by which periodontal disease can be prevented.

1. Brushing twice a day

This simple piece of advice is probably taught to every single child in school. Everyone is aware of it but it is surprising as to how many people choose to ignore it [2]. There are some people that are genetically blessed and will not develop periodontal disease even if they brush once a day or ignore rules of basic oral hygiene.

For the vast majority of the people, though, ignoring a proper brushing regimen is foolhardy.

Gum disease is caused due to the accumulation of plaque on the teeth. Over a period of time, this plaque matures to become disease-causing and can even get mineralized to form tartar. Once tartar attaches to the tooth, it cannot be removed by brushing alone [3].

The frequency of twice a day brushing has been arrived to by scientific studies that compared it other frequencies like once a day or thrice a day. It was found that the 12-hour old plaque is harmless to the teeth and gums. It can also be easily removed by soft bristles recommended on brushes [4].

2. Antibacterial mouthwash

An antibacterial mouthwash should be used on the advice of your dentist. It is not recommended for everyone, however, people that are seeing the first few signs of gum disease like bleeding gums, swollen gums, bad breath, or a feeling of itching inside their gums will benefit greatly from its use [5].

There are plenty of mouthwashes on the market but people should stick to those containing chlorhexidine inside them. The concentration of chlorhexidine may vary from 0.2% or 0.12% but it should not matter since both have been studied extensively and found to be the gold standard in preventing disease-causing plaque build-up [6].

The antibacterial mouthwash should ideally be used during the time of active infection and then stopped once oral hygiene methods have improved to prevent plaque build-up on their own.

3. Keeping your general health in check

A close relationship has been established between certain systemic diseases and gum disease. The strongest association among these is between diabetes and gum disease. Uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetics have a much larger incidence of gum disease than an unaffected population [7].

The reason behind this link has to do with the manner in which diabetes affects the immune system and the inflammatory response of the individual. This link is also not just one way because an improvement in the status of the gum disease is seen as the diabetes is brought under control [8].

Getting a regular health check-up is an integral part of preventing gum disease.

4. Get a regular dental checkup and scaling done

Scaling or a professional tooth cleaning every six months is the recommended protocol for everyone, irrespective of their age, gender, or oral health status. In fact, some people may actually be advised to get a tooth cleaning done every three months but those are in the minority [9].

Scaling removes the plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces which cannot be removed by the toothbrush. Gum disease is chronic in nature and progresses very slowly. It is also reversible at an early stage so a periodic cleaning reverts the status of the gums back to their healthy state [10].

A regular dental check-up also ensures that if there are any signs or symptoms of gum disease then they can be dealt with in a timely manner before irreversible damage has taken place.

5. Healthy diet and nutrition

It is difficult to pinpoint the role of individual nutrients in preventing diseases, however, ensuring that you get a healthy amount of vitamins and nutrients in your diet will obviously health. Food that is unprocessed, rich in fibers, vitamins, and antioxidants is particularly helpful in maintaining gum health [11].

The role of inflammation in gum disease has brought focus on the use of natural agents rich in anti-oxidants and with the capacity to fight free radical damage. In fact, this modulation of inflammation is a key area of research in the treatment and prevention of gum disease right now.

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