Simple Things You Can Do To Prevent Gum Disease

Dentist Blog

Gum disease is one of the most common illnesses in the United States. This disease can progress through varying stages of severity, but it can eventually cause tooth loss, serious infection, and other health problems. There are various forms of treatment, but for severe periodontitis, fixing the problem can be costly. The best way to avoid any trouble with gum disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place, and prevention is very simple. 

Daily Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing your teeth every day might not seem like a big deal when it comes to preventing disease, but these two quick habits can mean a lifetime of perfect oral health. Brushing helps to neutralize the bacteria that cause gum disease. Flossing also removes bacteria and food particles that can inflame gum tissue.

If you skip brushing and flossing on a consistent basis, you might notice that your gums start to bleed, or they might be just a little sore. These are the first signs of gum disease, and they should be taken seriously. Recommit to daily brushing and flossing to reverse the effects of early gum disease, and you likely won't have any more trouble. 

Protection During Sports and Activity

Sports can be hazardous for teeth, but they can also sometimes affect your gum health. For example, if you are a long distance runner, you might have a dry mouth, as you lose water through sweat and breathing through your mouth. Dryness can make it easier for bacteria to settle on your gums and cause the inflammation characteristic of gum disease. Work hard to keep your mouth moist during exercise by breathing through your nose and taking frequent drinks or water. You might also try to avoid sports drinks as much as possible, especially if you only work out for a short time. Sports drinks are sugary and can make gum disease and tooth decay worse. 

Choosing Tooth Healthy Foods

Your teeth and gums have an integral relationship. Keeping your teeth healthy keeps your gums healthy and vice-versa. You should always choose foods that are better for your teeth. Soda, juice, simple carbohydrates, candy, and acidic foods will increase tooth decay because they also increase bacterial activity in your mouth. 

Instead, try to eat more fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and complex carbohydrates. When you do eat, swish your mouth out with water to rinse away food residue. Try to avoid snacking between meals and try to drink milk, tea, coffee, or juice in one sitting instead of sipping it slowly throughout the course of several hours. Stay hydrated with water. If you must snack, try to avoid foods like chips and crackers and eat cheese with vegetables instead. 

Regular Dental Visits

Even with perfect dental hygiene habits, you still need regular trips to the dentist for dental cleanings. Your dentist can catch signs of decaying teeth or bleeding, inflamed gums early, providing a course correction if you need it. Also, professional cleaning removes plaque that has hardened. This hardened plaque cannot be removed with brushing, and it increases gum inflammation. Professional cleaning scrapes the tooth clean, preventing decay and prolonging the health of the gums.

Part of your dental cleaning also involved a fluoride treatment. Fluoride also helps to fight damage from bacteria. Fluoride makes your teeth stronger, which decreases the risk of decay. Since decay increases bacterial activity in your mouth and causes gum inflammation, fluoride treatments are effective at preventing gum disease. 

If you have gum disease that has progressed, you need to get even deeper cleaning underneath the gums to help remove as much irritating deposits and bacteria as possible. This process is called root planing and scaling and is one of the first treatments your dentist will suggest for more advanced periodontitis. 


1 November 2018

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