Gum disease is a type of infection that targets the soft tissue of your gums. It is a common oral health issue that affects nearly half of all adults. As a result, you need to know the signs before it is too late. The good news is that it is largely preventable with the right habits and practices. There are simple and effective ways to keep your gums healthy and your smile beautiful.
The foundation for preventing gum disease lies in good oral hygiene. To begin, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. Your toothbrush should have soft bristles to avoid damaging your gums. Also, you should brush gently in a circular motion. This helps to break up plaque buildup to make your mouth cleaner.
Flossing is often overlooked. But, it is crucial for removing plaque and food particles between your teeth and the gumline. Therefore, you should floss at least once a day.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental check-ups are essential. Your dentist can detect early signs of gum disease that you might miss. Typically, you should see your dentist every six months. But, your dentist may suggest a different schedule based on your specific needs.
At your appointment, dental hygienists can perform professional cleanings to remove tartar and plaque buildup. This is because you can’t remove tartar through brushing and flossing alone.
Watch Your Diet
High-sugar diets can increase the risk of gum disease. Sugar feeds harmful bacteria in your mouth, leading to plaque buildup. Try to limit your sugar intake, especially from sugary drinks and snacks.
A more balanced diet can improve your oral health. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains provides essential nutrients for gum health. Vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, calcium, and antioxidants, are particularly beneficial.
Smoking and Gum Disease
Smoking and the use of tobacco products are major risk factors for gum disease. They can lead to inflammation of the gums and interfere with the healing process. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your oral and overall health.
Chronic stress can weaken your immune system. This makes it harder for your body to fight off gum infections. Practicing stress management techniques can also help keep your stress levels in check.
Drinking plenty of water is not only essential for your overall health but also for your gum health. It helps wash away food particles and bacteria. This prevents them from building on your teeth and gums. Water also helps promote saliva production, which helps protect your teeth and gums.
Be Aware of Medications
Some medications can have side effects that affect your oral health. For example, certain drugs may cause dry mouth, which can increase the risk of gum disease. Be sure to inform your dentist about any medications you’re taking.