When people hear the term “oral health,” they tend to think about white teeth and fresh breath. Equally critical to the health of your teeth, however, is the condition of your gums.
Actively caring for your gums is just as essential as brushing your teeth twice per day, especially since gum disease is usually painless and goes unnoticed for a long time.
Why You Should Care for Your Gums
There are, in essence, two stages of gum disease, namely gingivitis which is the earlier stage and periodontitis, the advanced form of gum disease. You may have gingivitis if your gums are bleeding, swollen, red, tender, or inflamed. This is most commonly seen while brushing.
Periodontitis causes the deterioration of the bones that provides structural support to your teeth. Perpetual bad breath, loose teeth, swollen and irritated gums, and gums that pull away from your teeth are all symptoms of periodontitis.
Preventing gum disease is of the utmost importance to ensure that you are in good health. Let’s take a look at the best ways to care for your gums.
Flossing once per day will prevent the accumulation of plaque along your gum line, which is one of the primary causes of gingivitis.
Regular Dentist Visits
Despite proper and regular flossing, there may still be plaque along your gumline. Visiting your dentist at least once every six months to have your gum line professionally cleaned plays an integral role in proper gum care.
A dentist will also be able to detect early signs of gum disease and take steps to prevent it.
Smoking and dipping tobacco can increase your risk for gum disease significantly. Tobacco products also weaken your immune systems, which can prolong your gums’ healing time if they are injured.
Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth for two minutes once in the morning and once at night is typically regarded as a way to prevent tooth decay. Brushing also prevents food particles from getting lodged between your gums and teeth and is an effective way to prevent gingivitis.
Brushing your tongue can also prevent gum disease because your tongue harbors bacteria that can increase your risk for gingivitis and periodontitis.
Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash
Since the accumulation of plaque and tartar around your gum line is the primary cause of gum disease, rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash can go a long way. Plaque is a layer of bacteria that, in combination with sugars in your diet, produce acids that erode teeth enamel and damage your gums.
Fluoride strengthens the enamel around your teeth and prevents cavities from forming. Cavities can spread infection and bacteria to your gums. Choose a fluoride toothpaste to keep your gumline healthy and strong.
All the preventative care methods listed above can reduce your chances of gingivitis and periodontitis. By using these methods in combination with each other, chances are you will never have to deal with the discomfort and health issues typically associated with gum disease.