Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

Try these measures to reduce or prevent periodontitis:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day or, better yet, after every meal or snack.
  • Use a soft toothbrush and replace it at least every three to four months.
  • Consider using an electric toothbrush, which may be more effective at removing plaque and tartar.
  • Floss daily.
  • Use a mouth rinse to help reduce plaque between your teeth, if recommended by your dentist.
  • Supplement brushing and flossing with an interdental cleaner, such as a dental pick, interdental brush or dental stick specially designed to clean between your teeth.
  • Get regular professional dental cleanings, on a schedule recommended by your dentist.
  • Don't smoke or chew tobacco.

Prevention

The best way to prevent periodontitis is to follow a program of good oral hygiene, one that you begin early and practice consistently throughout life.

  • Good oral hygiene. That means brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice daily — in the morning and before going to bed — and flossing at least once a day. Flossing before you brush allows you to clean away the loosened food particles and bacteria.
  • Regular dental visits. See your dentist or dental hygienist regularly for cleanings, usually every six to 12 months. If you have risk factors that increase your chance of developing periodontitis — such as having dry mouth, taking certain medications or smoking — you may need professional cleaning more often.
April 14, 2017
References
  1. Periodontitis (pyorrhea). Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dental-disorders/periodontal-disorders/periodontitis. Accessed Nov. 10, 2016.
  2. Periodontal (gum) disease: Causes, symptoms, and treatments. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/Topics/GumDiseases/PeriodontalGumDisease.htm#. Accessed Nov. 10, 2016.
  3. Gum disease information. American Academy of Periodontology. https://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease.htm. Accessed Nov. 10, 2016.
  4. Wilder RS, et al. Gingivitis and periodontitis in adults: Classification and dental treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 11, 2016.
  5. Smiley CJ, et al. Evidence-based clinical practice guideline on the nonsurgical treatment of chronic periodontitis by means of scaling and root planning with or without adjuncts. Journal of the American Dental Association. 2015;146:525.
  6. Gum disease. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/g/gum-disease. Accessed Nov. 11, 2016.
  7. Oral health. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/o/oral-health. Accessed Nov. 11, 2016.
  8. Periodontal treatments and procedures. American Academy of Periodontology. https://www.perio.org/consumer/treatments-procedures. Accessed Nov. 11, 2016.
  9. Brushing your teeth. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth. Accessed Nov. 15, 2016.
  10. Salinas TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 4, 2016.