Advanced gum disease (chronic periodontitis) affects 47.2% of adults aged 30 and over in the United States.
Apparently, poor oral hygiene is bad news for your gums and teeth.
A healthy mouth is more than just straight teeth and a bright smile. It’s also about gum health!
Perhaps your teeth are super white, you’ve not had any cavity before, and your dentist is always impressed by how you properly look after your teeth. However, that does not mean you can’t get gum disease.
Many individuals may not even know they’ve got it as there may be no pain. The best way to ensure gum health is to proactively take care of your mouth.
But before we discuss what to do to promote your dental health and wellness, it’s crucially important to know what gum disease is.
What’s Gum Disease?
Gum disease refers to inflammation of the gums, which may cause loss of teeth.
If not treated, gum disease can weaken the bones and connective tissue in your mouth. This can make your gums and teeth more prone to plaque, bacteria, and tooth decay.
The best way to keep your gums healthy is to exercise preventative care. Visiting your dentist regularly can help detect early signs of gum disease and fix your smile effectively. Some gum disease signs to note include:
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Shifting and loose teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Red and swollen gums
Gum disease can be prevented. Here are some ways to help you keep healthy teeth and gums.
Keep Good Oral Hygiene
Brush: Brush your teeth properly at least two times a day. Brush once at night before bedtime and once in the morning when you wake up.
Floss: This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to help prevent gum disease and maintain gum health. Floss once a day to help clean those parts in between teeth which your brush can’t reach.
Rinse with mouthwash: After brushing your teeth, use an antiseptic mouthwash to rinse your mouth. This will flush out loose bacteria, which can cause plaque or mild gum disease.
Quit smoking: Smoking might cause gum disease. Moreover, since smoking makes your immune system weaker, fighting gum infections may be difficult for you. Smoking also messes up the healing of gums after damage.
Brush with an electric toothbrush if possible: A manual toothbrush is good enough, but if you find it difficult to clean your teeth well with it, get an electric toothbrush instead. It helps clean teeth effectively and takes out plaque.
Get a new toothbrush every 3-4 months: A worn out brush can’t properly clean your teeth. When replacing your toothbrush, get one with soft bristles as hard bristles can damage your gums.
Choose toothpaste wisely: Consult your dentist or choose toothpaste that helps fight off tooth decay and adequately protects your teeth.
When it comes to toothpaste, many stores have brands that promise to freshen up your breath, reduce gingivitis, and whiten teeth. So, how do you tell which one is right for healthy teeth and gums?
Be sure to pick a toothpaste that has fluoride and comes with the seal acceptance from ADA (American Dental Association). Then you can choose any flavor and color.
Scrape off extra food debris with a toothpick: Do you at times feel some sticky food remains along the lining of your gum? This can lead to plaque.
Sticky food debris can enter your gums because it’s pushed by the chewing motion. When you feel this sticky mess covering your gum’s lining, gently scrape it away with a toothpick to avoid damaging your gums.
Watch Your Diet
The foods you consume may cause tooth decay once they combine with the bacteria present in your mouth. Here’s how you can protect your teeth with what you eat:
Eat an apple daily: Eating an apple every day not only will keep your doctor away but also your dentist. Crunchy treats such as apples help to get rid of stains on teeth.
When you’re chewing an apple, its rigid texture acts like a brush, helping you remove tough stains over time.
Eat lots of foods containing calcium: These include milk, cheese, and yogurt Calcium helps to maintain the bone that holds the tooth roots. This is especially vital for older people and for kids during the development of milk and adult teeth.
Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits: Have a balanced diet which should also contain lean meat, fish, and whole grains. This ensures that you receive all the nutrients essential for dental health and wellness.
Avoid sticky sweets and sugary chewing gum: Stay away from sweets like toffees, soft candies, pastries, and taffies. If you can’t avoid sweets, make sure to rinse your mouth properly with water afterward. Or brush your teeth if possible.
If you have to chew gum, always ensure it’s a sugar-free brand.
Get Dental Cleanings on the Regular
Your dentist can identify early symptoms of gum disease if you go for regular checkups. That way, you’ll have the symptoms treated before they get worse.
The only method to get rid of tartar is to have a professional cleaning. It can also remove any plaque you might have missed when flossing and brushing. If you’ve got gingivitis, regular dental cleanings along with brush and flossing may help reverse it.
Watch for Gum Disease Symptoms
Even if you follow all precautions, it’s still vital to check for symptoms of gum disease. First of all, you must check for any swollen or tender gums.
If you’re feeling any kind of swelling or pain, be sure to see your dentist right away. Watch for separating or loose teeth as this might point to a serious problem.
Learn the Right Way to Maintain Gum Health
Taking good care of your mouth, gums, and teeth is the only way to maintain good oral health.
When did you last visit your dentist for a checkup? Can’t remember? Well, it’s never too late to look after your teeth.
Contact us right away. We’ll be glad to help you learn more ways to enhance gum health.