5 Tips for Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease is one of the most common oral health problems, affecting the majority of people at some point in their life. Gum disease begins as mild inflammation of the gums but can spread to deeper tissues and cause serious damage if left untreated, which can ultimately lead to tooth loss. Keep your gums safe and healthy by following these tips.
1. Brush Your Teeth Thoroughly
Your primary weapon in the fight against gum disease is your toothbrush. Brushing for at least two minutes each morning and evening removes the bacteria that cause gum disease from the surfaces of your teeth. Use a soft toothbrush to avoid irritating your gums.
2. Don't Forget to Floss
Unfortunately, brushing your teeth isn't enough to keep gum disease at bay. Your toothbrush can remove dental plaque from the front, back, and chewing surfaces of your teeth, but it can't reach into the tiny gaps between them. To stop bacteria hiding out in these crevices and attacking your gums, you need to floss your teeth every day. If you hate using string floss, an interdental brush or water flosser is a good alternative.
3. Eat a Healthy Diet
The bacteria that cause gum disease thrive on sugar. Every time you eat a chocolate bar or drink a sugary beverage, you give them the fuel they need to multiply in your mouth. Reduce your risk of gum disease by swapping sugary drinks for zero-sugar alternatives and snacking on nuts or cheese instead of sweet treats.
4. Quit Smoking
Smokers often experience more severe gum disease than non-smokers. The chemicals in cigarette smoke reduce blood flow to the gums, preventing them from healing, which means that treatments for gum disease are less effective. Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to lose teeth to gum disease. They may even experience bone loss as the condition progresses. Cutting down on smoking, or, even better, kicking the habit completely, could help to keep your gums healthy.
5. Seek Treatment Quickly
If you notice your gums becoming irritated or inflamed, you need to take action quickly. Attend regular dental checkups so your dentist can spot the early signs of gum disease. Your dentist can either treat the problem or refer you to a dental hospital for more intensive treatment to prevent the gum disease spreading. The earlier you catch gum disease, the more chance you have of making a full recovery and not having any complications.