Hartford Hospital

Conditions In Depth

Search for

The following steps can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease:

Follow Good Dental 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.
Get Regular Professional Dental Care

You should see your dentist every six months for a careful cleaning and for a thorough dental checkup. Furthermore, if you’ve already been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you should have a more thorough cleaning every three months.

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 Nutritiously

A nutritious diet can help you fight all forms of infection, including the kind that causes periodontal disease. Ask your doctor whether you would benefit from:

  • Working with a nutritionist
  • Taking vitamin 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.

Last reviewed September 2013 by Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.