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How can I prevent gum disease?

In most cases, periodontal disease is a perfectly avoidable disease that can be controlled by proper home care. If you are flossing thoroughly at least once a day, brushing properly three times a day and seeing the hygienist twice a year you have an excellent chance of avoiding this scourge. Unfortunately, most people do not floss and/or brush adequately (check our patient education section) nor do they visit their dental office twice a year. The result is that the vast majority of people have some form of gum disease ranging from the mildest (ginigivitis) to the worst (periodontosis). If you are negligent, bleeding gums and bad breath will result. If you are unlucky, you will not get those symptoms until bone loss has occurred around the teeth and more complicated therapy will be needed.

A complicating factor in the progression of gum disease is whether you smoke. Smokers are much more likely to have serious periodontal problems partly because smoking restricts blood flow. Other diseases can also accelerate bone loss around the teeth, the foremost example being diabetes. Diabetics have to be extremely careful with their home care to prevent gum disease and cavities.

There is a genetic component to resisting gum disease, but it is really a wild card. Until scientists find the gene that indicates resistance you just have to assume you are vulnerable and continue to be diligent with your home care.


Unless you are a patient of Dr. Landin's and have seen him very recently, this should not be construed as dental advice but only as information. Please consult your own dentist in regard to your personal situation or condition.

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