5 Ways to Prevent Gum Disease
Your gums serve as the foundation for your teeth and their health matters greatly. Even if your teeth are bright white and free of cavities, you could still be at risk for gum disease. Aside from encouraging at-home oral care, our Portage dentist can help with both preventive treatments and restorative procedures to manage existing conditions.
Learn about what you can do to avoid gum disease altogether below.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Before a gum infection progresses into a more serious gum disease, it is largely reversible and preventable with proper oral care. The earliest stage that an individual can experience is .
Gingivitis is marked by inflamed or red gums that bleed after brushing and are tender to the touch. The onset of this condition is due to plaque buildup at the gum line. If ignored, gingivitis will become periodontitis which is a chronic and long-term condition. Periodontitis can lead to destroyed gum and bone tissue, severely loose teeth, and even tooth loss.
Warning signs of gum disease can include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Gums that bleed after brushing or flossing
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
Keep Your Gums Healthy By:
1. Brushing and Flossing Every Day
You’ve probably heard this piece of advice many times over by now. Well, there is a reason why regular brushing and flossing is first on this list: they work. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily reduces the amount of food particles and plaque trapped in your teeth.
Our dentist recommends the following for happy teeth and gums:
- An electric toothbrush over a manual version
- Fluoride toothpaste
- Brushing your teeth for at least 2 minutes at a time
- Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth so gums are also cleaned
2. Using an ADA Accepted Mouthwash
There are an array of mouthwash types and brands out there for consumers to choose from. Knowing which ones are better than others can positively impact your oral health now and in the future.
If you see a seal from the American Dental Association (ADA) on the front of the bottle, you know you’ve found a good mouthwash. This seal of approval means that the ADA has deemed the mouthwash effective and safe to use.
Remember that a rinse should not replace brushing or flossing though it is a great way to further.
3. Quitting Smoking or Using Tobacco Products
There is significant evidence that shows that the use of cigarettes and other products containing tobacco is harmful. Not only is it bad for your overall health, but smoking is directly linked to the onset of gum disease.
According to the CDC, smoking weakens your immune system which means your body has trouble fighting off a gum infection. In addition, your gums are not able to heal as quickly after being damaged.
4. Receiving Dental Cleanings Regularly
Visiting our Portage dental office for a teeth cleaning every 6 months or as often as directed is important for multiple reasons. For one, these checkup appointments allow for Dr. Paul to catch any possible issues and advice on proper brushing or flossing techniques. They also provide your teeth with a professional cleaning that can’t be accomplished at home.
5. Watching Your Diet
That’s right, preventing gum disease isn’t all up to your oral hygiene habits. It also involves watching what you eat on a daily basis. Try consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, protein, and whole grains. Foods containing vitamin C and vitamin D have also been shown to help bleeding gums and offer anti-inflammatory benefits.
Sugary foods do not have to be avoided entirely, but they should be consumed in moderation and followed up by brushing and flossing at the end of the day.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Our Portage, MI, family dentist can provide additional advice on how to avoid the onset of gum related infections or help treat your current gum disease. Call Courtside Dental at (269) 327-1011 to request an appointment.
This blog post has been updated.