Preventing Gum Disease: Essential Tips

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, poses a significant risk to oral health. This condition may lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems. By implementing preventive measures, you could maintain healthy gums and a beautiful smile. At Dr. John Gotwalt, D.D.S. in Lititz, PA, we emphasize the importance of preventing gum disease. 

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, poses a significant risk to oral health, often leading to tooth loss.

Daily Oral Hygiene Practices

Brushing your teeth correctly forms the foundation of good oral hygiene. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Use short, gentle strokes to clean all surfaces of your teeth. Brushing at least twice a day, preferably after meals, helps remove plaque and prevent gum disease.

While brushing cleans the surfaces of your teeth, flossing removes plaque and food particles from between your teeth and under your gumline. Use about 18 inches of dental floss, winding most of it around your middle fingers. Gently guide the floss between your teeth and move it up and down, following the curve of each tooth. Daily flossing helps prevent plaque buildup, reducing your risk of gum disease.  

Benefits of Mouthwash

Using an antimicrobial mouthwash can further enhance your oral hygiene routine. Mouthwash reaches areas where your toothbrush and floss might miss, helping to reduce bacteria and plaque. Dr. John Gotwalt suggests choosing a mouthwash containing fluoride to strengthen your teeth and protect your gums. Rinse with mouthwash after brushing and flossing for optimal results.  

Regular Dental Check-Ups

Routine dental exams play a crucial role in preventing gum disease. During these visits, Dr. John Gotwalt will examine your gums for signs of inflammation, recession, and other issues. Early detection of gum disease allows for timely intervention and treatment, preventing more severe complications. Schedule dental exams at least twice a year to maintain your oral health.  

Professional Cleanings

Professional cleanings remove plaque and tartar that regular brushing and flossing cannot eliminate. During a cleaning, the dental hygienist will scale and polish your teeth, ensuring they remain clean and healthy. Dr. John Gotwalt recommends professional cleanings every six months to reduce the risk of disease and maintain your overall oral health.  

Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Effects of Smoking on Gum Health

Smoking significantly increases your risk of developing disease. The harmful chemicals in tobacco products weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections, including gum disease. Quitting smoking could improve your gum health and enhance your overall well-being.

Impact of Diet

A balanced diet contributes to healthy gums and teeth. Consuming foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and vitamin C, strengthens your gums and immune system. Avoiding sugary and acidic foods helps prevent plaque buildup and gum disease.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

Bleeding gums often indicate the presence of disease. If you notice bleeding while brushing or flossing, schedule an appointment for an evaluation. Addressing the issue early can prevent further complications and restore your gum health.  

Persistent bad breath can also result from bacterial buildup in your mouth. This condition may indicate gum disease. Regular dental visits and maintaining good oral hygiene practices help combat bad breath.


Preventing gum disease requires a combination of daily oral hygiene practices, regular dental check-ups, and healthy lifestyle habits. By following these guidelines and seeking professional care from Dr. John Gotwalt in Lititz, PA, you could maintain healthy gums and a beautiful smile. Take the necessary steps today to protect your oral health and prevent gum disease.


Drs. Sara & John Gotwalt
Lititz, PA Dentist
2320 Rothsville Road, Suite 300
Lititz, PA 17543

New Patients 717-627-6980


Monday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM

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