Return to Index
Lifestyle Changes to Manage Periodontal Disease
Follow Good Self-care Practices
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.
- Visit your dentist for professional cleaning and a thorough check-up every six months.
When to Contact Your Dentist
- Increase in gum tenderness, redness, or bleeding
- Pus between your teeth or coming from your gums
- Loose teeth or any teeth that seem less stable
- New onset of pain or discomfort
Managing Periodontal Disease
Gum disease. American Dental Association's Mouth Healthy website. Available at: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/g/gum-disease. Accessed October 14, 2013.
Gum disease information. American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: http://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease.htm. Accessed October 14, 2013.
Periodontal (gum) disease. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/GumDisease. Accessed October 14, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013