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  • Reducing Your Risk of Periodontal Disease

    The following steps can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease:
    Smoking is a major risk factor for the development of periodontal disease. Talk to your doctor about programs and aids to help you kick this habit .
    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 )
      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.
    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.

    References

    Gum disease: what you need to know. American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: http://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease.htm . Updated May 2008. Accessed April 23, 2009.

    Periodontal (gum) disease. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/GumDisease/ . Updated December 2008. Accessed April 23, 2009.

    Periodontal (gum) diseases. American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org/ . Updated March 2005. Accessed April 23, 2009.

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