How to prevent gum disease

Dossier : Gingivitis: causes, prevention and treatment

infection of the gums; inflammation of the gums

The main cause of gum disease is the long-term deposit of dental plaque. Good oral hygiene measures help to prevent gum disease by continuously eliminating plaque which forms after each meal. Brushing, dental floss, inter-dental brushes and daily mouthwashes all help to effectively fight against dental plaque.

We recommend using LISTERINE® TEETH AND GUM DEFENCE ANTI-BACTERIAL MOUTHWASH as part of this routine. Formulated with added fluoride it can help strengthen your teeth against decay and help prevent gingivitis from starting by removing plaque.

Tartar can also contribute to the inflammation or infection of the gums. Visiting the dentist twice a year for tartar removal is a good practice to adopt to prevent the build-up of tartar. 


There are aggravating factors in addition to individual genetic tendencies. Some of these can be controlled, like smoking or a lack of vitamin C or vitamin B3. There are other factors to take into consideration even if it is difficult to change these:

  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy (pregnancy gum disease), menopause or taking the oral contraceptive
  • The taking of certain epilepsy and immunosuppressant drug treatments
  • Some systemic diseases like diabetes, leukemia or AIDS
  • A dental crown or poorly completed dental filling
  • The particular position of the teeth. Overlapping teeth make the removal of dental plaque more difficult with brushing


Gums are weakened by smoking. Cigarette smoke changes the body’s response to the bacteria responsible for periodontitis and gum diseases.  The risk of developing gum disease and then periodontitis increases throughout the time of smoking. Therefore, the more time you spend smoking, the more likely you are to develop gum disease or periodontitis. As soon as you stop smoking, the risk decreases.

Ref: J&J internal data

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