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- Poor brushing and flossing habits
- Clenching teeth together or grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
- Breathing through the mouth
- HIV infection
- Improper bite
- Birth control pills
- Family members with gum disease
- Poorly fitting dentures
- Some medications taken for high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression
- Some medications used to control seizures
- Drinking alcohol
- Down syndrome
- Swollen, puffy gums
- Tender gums
- Redness in the gums or around the teeth
- Bleeding gums during brushing or eating
- Gum tissue that recedes or changes shape
- Persistent bad breath
- Regular dental checkups and good oral hygiene
- Careful and frequent brushing and flossing
- A healthful diet that is low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
Good dental habits:
- Brush your teeth and tongue with fluoride toothpaste at least twice per day.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a powered toothbrush.
- Floss at least once per day.
- See your dentist as advised for regular cleanings and check-ups. This is generally every 6 months.
- Eat balanced, nutritious meals.
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid alcohol or drink in moderation. This is up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
American Academy of Periodontology http://www.perio.org
Mouth Healthy—American Dental Association http://www.mouthhealthy.org
Canadian Dental Association http://www.cda-adc.ca
Dental Hygiene Canada http://www.dentalhygienecanada.ca
Gingivitis. American Dental Association Mouth Healthy website. Available at: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/g/gum-disease. Accessed August 5, 2015.
Periodontal (gum) disease: causes, symptoms, and treatments. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/topics/gumdiseases/periodontalgumdisease.htm. Updated September 2013. Accessed August 5, 2015.
Taking care of your gums. JAMA patient page. JAMA. 2000;284:1472.
4/7/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Weyant RJ, Tracy SL, Anselmo TT, et al. Topical fluoride for caries prevention: Executive summary of the updated clinical recommendations and supporting systematic review. J Am Dent Assoc. 2013;144(11):1279-1291.
7/15/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Yaacob M, Worthington HV, Deacon SA. Powered versus manual toothbrushing for oral health. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;6:CD002281.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2015 -
- Update Date: 08/05/2015 -