9 Easy Ways To Prevent Gum Disease
Many people believe that their oral health is dependent upon a cavity-free lifestyle, while you maintain the straightest, whitest teeth possible. In reality, your gums are essentially the glue that keeps your mouth together and in working order. and therefore are equally (if not more) important to maintain.
Gum disease is an illusive challenge, one that can go undetected for months. In this article, we will review nine of the easiest, most effective ways to prevent gum disease.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is an oral health concern that occurs when your gums are infected with bacteria. There are three stages to gum disease, which are categorized by the severity of the infections. The first and most mild stage is gingivitis. The second and more serious stage is called periodontitis. And finally the worst stage is called advanced periodontitis.
Gum disease occurs when plaque, a sticky and bacteria ridden film builds up on the base of the tooth along the gum line. As the plaque builds up, the affected area becomes susceptible to infection (both in the form of cavities and gum disease).
Gingivitis is a mild gum infection that causes the gums to become inflamed, swollen, tender and prone to bleeding. At this stage, you can fight off the infection and improve your gum health. However, if left untreated it will advance into some sort of periodontitis, which is a much more severe infection and can lead to permanent teeth loss — as the gums have decayed to such a degree that they can no longer support your teeth.
How to prevent gum disease:
Luckily, there are very simple practices you can incorporate into your daily routine to increase your chances of avoiding gum disease all together. These include:
Flossing cleans 40% of your teeth and also reaches some of the most vulnerable parts of your gums. By flossing every day, you are removing the plaque and food debris that is often left behind after you eat. Remove the source of bacterial growth within your mouth and thus mitigate any risk of gum disease with a quick floss.
2. Brush your teeth twice a day
Brushing our teeth is one of the most important parts of our oral hygiene routine. At minimum, find time to brush your teeth once in the morning and once before bed to fortify your gum care. Each time you eat, you are introducing more nutrients that bad bacteria can feed upon, which can lead to infection. Removing these food particles and plaque is the best way to keep your gums healthy.
3. Fluoride toothpaste
In addition, brushing your teeth with a fluoride-based toothpaste can help you further prevent gum disease. This is one of the most effective weapons that we have when maintaining our oral health. Fluoride strengthens our enamel (the top protective layer of our teeth) against plaque and decay.
4. Rinse with mouthwash
There are many mouthwash products on the market today that are specifically engineered to prevent gum disease because they contain bacteria killing elements. By rinsing your mouth daily, you add one more layer of protection to your gums, keeping them strong and healthy.
5. Eliminate tobacco products
Smoking, vaping and the use of other tobacco products can weaken your immune system, leaving your gums susceptible to infection and decay. In addition, many tobacco products (like dip and chew) contain high levels of sugar that feed the growth of bacteria causing gum disease.
6. Increase your Vitamin C intake
One of the leading causes for gum disease is having a vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C helps elevate our immune systems and build up a resistance to infection and bacteria.
7. Drink more milk
We have all heard the old adage of drinking milk to strengthen our bones and of course it is true. Milk and other food products like chicken and cheese contain high levels of calcium that is necessary for bone growth. Having stronger and healthier teeth as a result of a calcium rich diet also protects your gums from disease.
8. Eat more veggies
Vegetables may be the most underrated part of a well-balanced diet. Eating the recommended 2-3 cups of vegetables a day will not only improve your overall health; it will also help keep your mouth clean and provide your gums with the needed vitamins and minerals for maintaining excellent gum health.
9. Visit your dentist every 6 months
The most important thing you can do to protect your gums is to see your dentist regularly — at least once every six months. Gum disease is a sneaky condition that is very hard to detect without a trained eye. Your dentist knows exactly what to look for. Your dentist can quickly address any signs of gingivitis, or other common oral health challenges, before they escalate.
Our exceptional team of dental specialists at Canyon Family Dentistry and Orthodontics in Las Vegas can help you protect yourself against dental hygiene challenges — including gum disease. Same day appointments are available today when you call (702) 899-0735.