3 Ways To Help Prevent Gum Disease

When we develop gum disease, the health of our smile may suffer. In order to protect patients from the onset of periodontal disease, we may suggest preventive and general procedures, including quality homecare. How do we help prevent gum disease and safeguard smiles in Des Moines, IA?

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

The disease essentially begins as inflammation. Multiple factors can cause the gum tissue to become inflamed, such as poor oral hygiene, plaque buildup, prolonged illnesses, certain medications, smoking, or a genetic predisposition to periodontal problems. Once inflammation arises, without treatment the gums will begin to pull away from the teeth and form deep periodontal pockets. Once bacteria enter these pockets, the disease develops. Periodontal disease cannot be cured, so routine care is crucial for protecting the teeth from tooth loss and other serious complications of untreated periodontal disease. Fortunately, you can start taking steps now to safeguard your smile and improve your oral health.

Preventing Gum Disease

  1. Brush and Floss: Each day, you should brush your teeth for two minutes when you wake and again before going to bed. We suggest using a fluoridated toothpaste when you do. Even more important, you need to thoroughly floss up and down the side of each tooth before going to bed. Brushing and flossing help remove food particles, which bacteria would otherwise break down, a process responsible for plaque buildup.
  2. Have Your Teeth Cleaned: While brushing and flossing are essential for limiting the onset of plaque buildup, the only way to completely remove the buildup is with a dental cleaning. You should see us every six months, so we can use a manual too or an ultrasonic scaler to remove all plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) from the teeth. If you have high risk factors for gum disease, then we may suggest a visit every three to four months.
  3. Stop Smoking: Did you know that smoking can worsen gum disease, increasing the risk of periodontitis? The advanced stage of the disease, periodontitis attacks the tissue connecting your teeth and gums, leading to adult tooth loss and poor oral health. In addition, smoking and tobacco use also increase the risk of cancer and other serious health problems. If you have any questions about quitting smoking, or if you think your smile may benefit from treatment, then contact our team today. We want to work with you to help you enjoy a healthy smile free of disease!


Our team wants to help you stay heathy and free of periodontal problems. Our practice is ready to help families in and around Des Moines, IA enjoy better oral health with general and preventive dentistry. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (515) 244-9565.