Taking care of your oral hygiene is more than just brushing your teeth (although that is a huge part).
While making sure that you do brush your teeth daily, you also have to ensure that your gums are healthy too. Otherwise, you may run the risk of acquiring gum disease later on.
Not only can gum disease be painful, but it also linked to heart disease and heart attacks, diabetes, strokes, and even rheumatoid arthritis
So, to make sure that you avoid these issues, here are six things you can do today to prevent gum disease.
But first, here are some potential symptoms that may be cause for concern when it comes to gum disease.
Potential Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Gums bleeding during and after tooth brushing
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath, or a bad taste in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
- Formation of deep pockets between teeth
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down
If you have experienced any of these issues, it doesn’t mean that you have gum disease for sure. However, make sure you bring any of these symptoms up to an oral hygienist at your next dental appointment.
How to Avoid Gum Disease
Brush For at Least 2 Minutes
First, we’re going to knock off an obvious tip. When you brush your teeth, make sure you’re hitting up each side for at least one minute each. A good way to do it is to spend 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth brushing. (For those who are looking to upgrade their toothbrush – Quip has an electric toothbrush that will alert you when to move on to a different section of your teeth).
Keep this in mind too — as this is where many people fail when it comes to cleaning their teeth — make sure you brush your gums lightly as well. This will help keep your gums healthy and clean.
The importance of flossing is currently widely debated. We’re here to tell you that flossing is definitely worth the extra effort.
By flossing, you can get in between your teeth in the hard to reach areas of your mouth to get rid of any plaque build-up.
Recent articles have pointed to there not being evidence supporting the benefits of flossing. Dr. Tim Lafolla, a dentist and public health analyst at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, said it best in a Live Science article, stating “Weak evidence for flossing doesn’t necessarily mean that flossing is ineffective, it just means there isn’t positive evidence for flossing. Flossing is a low-risk and low-cost procedure, and because clinical studies show that it’s effective when it’s done well, we just don’t have much hesitation in saying go ahead and do it. It’s not going to hurt.”
So go ahead and floss. It’ll be worth it in the long-run.
Use Mouth Rinse Daily
If you’re not flossing, then you better at least be using mouth rinse daily. Swishing an antiseptic mouthwash at least two times a day can help stop gingivitis in its tracks and keep your mouth fresh and disease-free.
The standard amount of mouthwash to use is 20 ml. It is also recommended that you spend 30 seconds swishing it around in your mouth.
Check out this helpful list of the best mouthwash for gingivitis.
Eat a Healthy Diet
You may be surprised to learn that there are some foods out there that can improve the health of your gums. Onions, leafy greens, green tea, peppers and citrus fruit, shiitake mushrooms, celery, carrots, apples, and some dairy products have all been linked to gum health.
For more information on why each of these foods is healthy for your gums, visit this resource.
Avoid Smokeless Tobacco and Cigarettes
Using Tobacco is one of the worst things you do for your gums — aside from completely avoiding brushing your teeth altogether.
Tobacco can lead to following adverse side effects for your oral health:
- Bad breath
- Teeth discoloration
- Decreased sense of smell and taste
- Greater risk of developing cavities
- Smokeless tobacco products, just like cigarettes, contain at least 28 cancer-causing chemicals.
- Smokeless tobacco is known to cause cancers of the mouth, lip, tongue, and pancreas.
- Users also may be at risk for cancer of the voice box, esophagus, colon, and bladder, because they swallow some of the toxins in the juice created by using smokeless tobacco.
- Smokeless tobacco can irritate your gums, causing gum (periodontal) disease.
- Sugar is often added to enhance the flavor of smokeless tobacco, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
- Smokeless tobacco typically contains sand and grit, which can wear down teeth, causing tooth sensitivity and erosion.
As you can see, the risk of tobacco goes beyond just your gums.
Regular Checkups For Cleanings
It’s important to make sure that every six months, you’re visiting the dentist for a cleaning and to make sure that everything checks out.
While many people don’t like going to the dentist, here at Wayzata Dental, we offer pain-free oral examinations. We aim for every procedure to be minimally invasive and strive to provide a safe, clean, and relaxing environment in which to have dental work done, including basic oral examinations.
To schedule you’re next oral examination with Wayzata Dental, call 952-473-4900 or book online at here.