If your gums are mildly swollen and
red, flossing every day and brushing your teeth in the morning and before
bedtime can help reverse these symptoms of
gum disease. For more information on how to care for
your teeth, see:
- Dental care: Brushing and flossing your teeth.
The following steps can also help to reverse or prevent gum
- Use a tartar-control toothpaste that contains
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash,
such as Listerine, or an antiplaque mouthwash.
- Chew sugar-free gum
after meals if you are unable to brush your teeth.
- Carefully use a
toothpick after meals if you are unable to brush your teeth right away.
If you smoke or use spit tobacco, the best thing you can do
for yourself is to quit. Tobacco decreases your ability to fight infection and
delays healing. Tobacco users are more likely than nonsmokers to have serious
gum disease that leads to tooth loss and that doesn't respond as well to
treatment.5 Quitting is difficult. But many people
find success through a combination of medicine, a stop-smoking program, and
counseling. For more information on how to quit, see the topic
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