There is a common belief that tooth loss and aging go hand in hand. That is simply not the case. You can keep your beautiful, natural smile throughout your lifetime. With good home care and regular visits to the dentist, you can prevent the two biggest threats to your smile: decay and infection. While the steps to avoid decay are well known, the factors that contribute to gum disease, and even the symptoms, are less familiar. Did you know, for example, that bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease in Birmingham, AL? Or that certain medications can raise your risk of gum disease?

4 Steps to Great Oral Health as You Age

Brush twice daily and floss once per day. This is the easiest way to protect your teeth and gums. Flossing is especially important because your gums protect and support your teeth. The leading cause of tooth loss is not decay; it is gum disease!

If you have dentures or bridges, make sure that you know how to clean and care for them. Your dentist will be happy to give you the information you need. Failing or neglected restorations can lead to poor oral health.

Drink plenty of water. Water helps to rinse away food debris and the bacteria that cause gum disease. If you are taking prescription medications that cause dry mouth, you will be more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay.

Visit your dentist regularly. Include your doctor in your comprehensive health care goals. Gum disease has the ability to negatively impact current medical conditions, like diabetes, and raise your risk of stroke, cancer, and heart disease.

Most importantly, schedule an appointment with your dentist at the first sight of bleeding gums. Early intervention allows Dr. Leigh Kent to reverse the effects of gum disease in Birmingham, AL, before the infection can destroy your oral health and damage your overall health.