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Periodontal disease is a serious concern for patients of all ages and throughout the U.S., including in Denver. Also known as gum disease, periodontitis occurs when bacteria in plaque builds up between the gums and teeth. Without treatment by a dentist, the accumulated bacteria lead to painful infections. Gum disease eventually causes the gums and bone structure to deteriorate, sometimes leading to tooth loss. Read on to find out how to maintain your oral health by protecting yourself against periodontal disease.

Practice Good Habits

To prevent periodontal disease and gingivitis, the less advanced stage of gum disease, dentists recommend regularly brushing teeth after each meal. Brushing teeth helps remove food debris trapped between the teeth and gums, inhibiting plaque formation. You should also floss at least once per day to remove plaque at the gum line that your toothbrush can’t quote reach. Finally, swish with a mouthwash before bed as the final line of prevention.

Understand Your Risk

Periodontal disease can be preventable, but some patients are at a heightened risk. For example, there is a high correlation between heart disease and diabetes and developing gum disease. Age, smoking, and genetics can also increase your risk for periodontal disease. If you are at an increased risk, consult your dentist about a preventative plan. Your dentist can monitor your care even more closely and may also work with your primary care physician to ensure that you stay in the best oral health.

Visit a Dentist

Finally, experts advise even patients who are not at a heightened risk to visit a dentist who treats gum disease and periodontitis at least once each year. Your dentist can administer a comprehensive periodontal evaluation, or CPE. A CPE is an in-depth examination of your teeth, gums, plaque level, bite, and bone structure. This diagnostic test is essential for helping your dentist track and detect any symptoms of gum disease before it becomes advanced periodontitis. At the early stages, your dentist can prescribe less invasive treatments like laser gum therapy.

Visit dentist to prevent periodontal disease