Tips for Preventing Gum Disease
Are you concerned about developing gum disease? Gum disease can happen to anyone. However, it is partially related to an individual’s genetic make-up. If you know you are genetically prone to developing gum disease, or if you are just looking for ways to stay healthy, find out what causes a person to develop gum disease and how you can prevent it.
Causes of Gum Disease
Gum disease, also called Gingivitis, is a common condition where a person’s gums become infected. This happens when the bacteria in plaque moves below the surface of your gums into a space called the sulcus. Gingivitis causes a person’s gums to become swollen, red, feel tender and bleed.
Risk Factors for Gum Disease
Here are a few things that make you more prone to developing gum disease:
- Poor oral hygiene (which causes plaque and tartar buildup)
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
- Using steroids or oral contraceptives
- Chemotherapy and channel blockers
- Pregnancy and diabetes
- Genetic factors
- Crooked or broken teeth
If left untreated, gingivitis can become more severe and develop into an advanced infection called periodontitis. Periodontitis causes bone loss, tooth decay and also allows cavities to form on the root surfaces of your teeth. It can also result in systemic blood infections and has been linked to cardiovascular disease.
To check for gum disease, your dentist will probe your gums to check for inflammation and ask you about any symptoms you might be having. Your dentist may refer you to a periodontist (gum specialist) for treatment if your symptoms are severe.
Healthy Hygiene Habits
Gum disease is completely preventable and it is fairly easy to do. All you have to do is incorporate a few healthy oral hygiene habits into your daily routine.
Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
Using a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day—in the morning and at night.
To avoid damaging your teeth and gums, be sure to use proper brushing technique. Angle the head of your toothbrush in a downward angle toward the back of your mouth. Gently brush your teeth using small (clockwise) circles.
Brushing too hard can actually wear down the enamel of your teeth making you more prone to developing cavities and tooth decay. Brushing hard also irritates and damages your gums.
Floss Each Night before Bed
Floss every night before you brush your teeth and go to bed. It is recommended you floss before brushing because it allows you to sweep away any plaque or food particles your floss catches. It’s best to floss at night because it allows your teeth to stay clean for several hours while you are asleep.
However, if you prefer to floss in the morning or at another time, that works just as well. The important thing is that you do it at least once a day.
Flossing is an especially important step to take if you are genetically predisposed to developing gum disease. Flossing eradicates food particles and tartar from the tight spaces between your teeth.
Gingivitis is the result of bacteria in plaque that builds along the gum line. It is easy to fight plaque build-up on the surface of your teeth with brushing, but flossing is the only way to fight plaque in those hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.
See Your Dentist Every Six Months
You should have a professional clean your teeth twice annually to prevent gum disease. Professionals use tools built specifically to remove hardened plaque from your teeth. They know the areas of your mouth that are prone to plaque build-up and can spot any symptoms of gum disease early—so you can catch a minor problem before it becomes a major issue.
Additional Tips and Tricks
Here are few more tips and tricks that will help you fight gum disease.
- Brush with Baking Soda—it neutralizes acids on your teeth and saves your enamel. Bonus, it polishes them too.
- Drink Green Tea—it has compounds that fight inflammation. Research shows it may help fight gum disease.
- Eat Healthy and Get Plenty of Vitamin C—this powerful antioxidant aids in the regrowth of tissue and also supports your immune system so you can fight off disease.
- Rinse with Warm Salt Water—salt water reduces inflammation and kills bacteria in your mouth.
- Use Fluoridated Toothpaste—it strengthens your teeth so you can fight decay. Bacteria in plaque causes gum disease and gum disease causes tooth loss. So building strong teeth is essential for good overall oral health.
- Quit Smoking—it significantly increases your chances for developing gum disease along with numerous other health issues.
You can avoid developing gum disease by incorporating these healthy oral habits into your routine. If you are concerned about the health of your mouth or would like more information about preventing gum disease, call Parkland Mall Dental Centre today!