While your smile was meant to last for a lifetime, teeth can be lost for a number of different reasons, the most common of which is severe gum disease. While brushing and flossing your teeth and visiting your dentist regularly are meant to protect your smile, gum disease still manages to afflict over 80% of adults in America. Luckily, this doesn’t mean that gum disease is inevitable. Unfortunately, it does mean that many of your dental hygiene may be lacking in effectiveness. To improve your chances of preventing destructive gum disease and tooth loss, we offer these tips for keeping your smile strong and healthy.

Protect Your Teeth from Gum Disease

  • Brush and floss often and carefully—While brushing your teeth is essential, merely rubbing your toothbrush across your teeth haphazardly for a couple of minutes will not do your smile any good. When brushing, take care to softly brush every surface of every tooth, especially along your gum line, to clear them of bacterial dental plaque.
  • Don’t neglect your checkup & cleaning—The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends attending a dental checkup and cleaning at least once every six months. Periodic professional dental maintenance helps your dentist ensure that your mouth remains clean and disease free, and can increase your chances of detecting issues early for more successful treatment.
  • Pay attention to the warning signs—By the time gum disease causes tooth sensitivity by exposing your teeth’s roots, the problem has already advanced enough to damage your gum tissue. However, there are visual signs that can warn you of impending danger, such as red and swollen gums or bleeding when you brush your teeth. If your gums appear angry and/or bleed, then gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease) likely has a hold of your soft periodontal tissue, and immediate treatment is your best chance at saving your oral health.