Preventing Gum Disease: A Guide to Daily Oral Care Habits

dentist showing a model mouth and toothbrush

Gum disease is a chronic condition that affects not only your oral health but also your overall health. It affects millions of people worldwide, and almost 1 in 3 Australians have gum disease. But did you know that gum disease is preventable and can easily be reversed in the early stages? All you need to prevent gum disease is proper oral hygiene and preventive dental care. In this blog, we will explore this common disease, discussing its causes, prevention and treatment to help you maintain your dental health, providing essential tips for daily oral care. 

What is Gum Disease?

Gum or periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the supporting structures of the teeth, including the gums, bone, and connective tissues. It is primarily caused by the accumulation of plaque, a soft film of bacteria that forms on your teeth when consuming foods and drinks. If not adequately removed with daily brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, penetrating the gumline and leading to gum disease. Gum disease is often silent and painless during the initial stages, with symptoms like bleeding, red or tender gums, and bad breath. It’s often dismissed or not taken seriously until it progresses, leading to more severe issues. 

There are two stages of gum disease; gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the early stage and is characterised by gum inflammation. Symptoms can include red, swollen or bleeding gums and persistent bad breath. Gingivitis is reversible with proper oral hygiene practices and dental cleanings to remove the plaque and tartar buildup, preventing progression to periodontitis, the advanced stage of gum disease. At this point, the symptoms are more severe and damage the supporting structures of the teeth. It can cause deep periodontal pockets, gum recession, tooth sensitivity, and loose and shifting teeth. Periodontitis is irreversible and can cause severe damage to your oral health, potentially leading to tooth loss. Treatments include deep cleanings, root planing to remove the bacteria from your gums, and antibiotics. They help manage the disease, preventing further damage and helping you retain the healthy tooth and gums you have left. 

Causes of Gum Disease 

Gum disease is mainly caused by poor oral hygiene habits, which lead to plaque and tartar buildup, allowing the bacteria to thrive in your mouth and eventually enter your gumline, causing infection and inflammation. 

Some other factors which can cause gum disease and increase its risks include:

  • Incorrect brushing technique or poor oral hygiene 
  • Ineffective cleaning between the teeth
  • Smoking or tobacco use 
  • Certain medications
  • Genetics,  ageing and hormonal changes 
  • Chronic stress
  • A diet high in sugary and processed foods
  • Systematic diseases that weaken the immune system 

How Does Gum Disease Impact Your Overall Health?

The bacteria from your mouth can enter your bloodstream, increasing the risk of systematic diseases like diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory infections, kidney and gut problems, certain cancers and high blood pressure. On the other hand, having autoimmune diseases can also leave you more susceptible to gum disease because of a weakened immune system. This makes it essential to be more vigilant in oral care because of the higher risk of gum disease. A compromised immune system can impair the body’s ability to fight off infections, leading to immune system dysfunction and inflammation in your body. 

Related: The Bidirectional Relationship: How Periodontal Disease and Diabetes Fuel Each Other,

Oral Care Habits to Prevent Gum Disease 

Gum disease prevention with oral care habits begins with assessing your susceptibility to the disease. Some people may have a higher risk of developing gum disease, and their oral care habits and preventive care should be tailored to their gum health. However, everyone should follow some basic guidelines to ensure adequate protection against gum disease and other dental problems. They include:

Daily Brushing 

Brush twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and strong fluoride toothpaste. Educate yourself about the correct brushing technique, cleaning your teeth for 2 minutes. Remember to brush along the gumline and over your tongue to remove lingering bacteria. Brush gently to avoid gum and tooth abrasion, as this can cause gum irritation and weakening of the enamel, increasing susceptibility to wear and cavities, weakening the surface tooth layer and giving bacteria an easy way in. 

Cleaning between the Teeth

Effective cleaning between the teeth with flossing or interdental brushes is crucial to protecting yourself from gum disease. Brushing alone cannot remove food particles and debris from between the teeth, allowing bacteria to thrive in inaccessible areas and between the gumline. Daily interdental cleaning helps remove these hidden pockets of bacteria, reducing plaque buildup and preventing gum disease. 

Regular Dental Checkups and Cleaning 

Professional preventive dental care is vital to keeping your teeth free of plaque and tartar buildup and detecting oral diseases and problems early. Bacteria are not visible to the naked eye and are often not removed from hard-to-reach areas such as the back teeth. Routine dental cleanings help remove plaque, preventing it from getting under the gumline. Additionally, when plaque is not removed, it hardens into dental calcus or tartar, which can only be cleaned with a dentist. No brushing or scraping can remove it except for dental scaling. Regular dental checkups also allow your dentist to catch early signs of gum disease, oral cancer, cavities, and impacted wisdom teeth and recommend treatment to prevent further damage and protect your teeth and gums from further damage. These regular visits help dentists guide and educate patients about proper oral hygiene and provide tailored hygiene treatments to help improve oral health. 

Some additional tips to protect yourself from gun disease include:

  • Maintain a healthy and nutritious diet
  • Avoid sugary and processed foods
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
  • Rinse your mouth with water after eating to wash away bacteria 
  • Manage chronic stress with therapy, lifestyle changes and support from loved ones 

Gum Disease Treatments 

At VIP Dental Clinic, we prioritise early intervention and personalised prevention plans to combat periodontal disease and prevent it from progressing.  Our targeted treatments are designed to prevent, control and manage gum disease to ensure your oral and overall well-being:

Larkin Protocol 

We use the Larkin Protocol to check your biofilm(bacteria) samples at your regular dental checkup. We analyse them under a microscope to identify the presence of bacteria, parasites, and cells. This allows us to determine precise and efficient treatment while identifying potential risks early and setting the foundation for maintaining excellent oral hygiene.

Guided Biofilm Therapy

Our Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT) is a gentle, preventative treatment for a whole mouth clean. With minimal contact, it removes bacteria using only air, powder and warm water. The high-pressure anti-bacterial spray removes stains and biofilm from the teeth, deep periodontal pockets and soft mouth tissues, even cleaning around dental restorations and appliances. This advanced technology excels at disrupting mature biofilm, surpassing traditional methods in efficacy without causing sensitivity or irritation.

Bacterial Disruption Therapy

Our Bacterial Disruption Therapy combines different protocols to combat pathogenic bacteria and disrupt unhealthy biofilm. This revolutionary approach represents the forefront of targeted microbiological interventions, utilising advanced tools to prevent and treat periodontal disease.

Protect Your Gum Health!

We offer personalised solutions crafted with precision to improve gum health and promote overall well-being. Whether managing the initial indications of gingivitis or addressing more advanced periodontitis, our individualised approach guarantees exceptional care throughout your oral health progression. Contact us to learn more about our gum disease treatments.