When gums become plagued with infection and disease, it can have a drastic negative impact on your smile — and your overall health. To better care for your gums, here are our top 5 ways you can protect the health of your gums.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can greatly harm your smile, causing things like inflammation, bleeding, and even tooth loss in severe cases. There are two main types of gum disease, according to the American Academy of Periodontology: gingivitis and periodontitis.
The most mild case of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis results in the gums becoming red, swollen, and to easily bleed. Typically in this stage of gum disease, the patient will feel little-to-no pain, however, it can quickly progress when left untreated. Gingivitis most commonly occurs due to insufficient oral hygiene at home. The good news is that this stage of gum disease is treatable and reversible. In addition to poor oral hygiene, other causes of gingivitis can include:
When gingivitis goes untreated, it can develop into the more severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis. Over time, plaque can spread and grow at the gum line. When this happens, the toxins produced with plaque and bacteria can irritate the gum and trigger an inflammatory response that begins to break down the tissues and bones that support the teeth. Gums will begin to separate from the teeth and form pockets, small spaces between the teeth and gums, which become infected. Without treatment, these pockets become larger and destroy the tissues and bones. Your teeth can loosen and fall out.
Nearly half of adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease. Don’t become part of that statistic, follow these tips to protect your gums:
The first step in protecting your gums begins with understanding your health history. Things like your genetics, age, whether or not you smoke, and what you eat can all contribute to how susceptible to gum disease you are. To protect your gums, it’s important to honestly share your medical history with your dentist. If you are more at risk, you may require more frequent professional cleanings that take place at the dentist’s office.
This seems obvious, but thoroughly brushing your teeth morning and night can protect your gums. When you brush your teeth correctly, you are removing food and plaque that is stuck on the teeth and gums, which can lead to infection and inflammation if not removed. You should brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. While you brush, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and move in small, circular motions, making sure that you clean the entire surface of each tooth.
Unfortunately, brushing alone isn’t enough to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Food and plaque get stuck in the tight spaces between each tooth where your toothbrush can’t reach. You should aim to floss your teeth once per day, to remove any buildup you may have accumulated throughout the day. To floss correctly, be sure you get in-between each tooth and slowly glide the piece of floss in a ‘c’ shape up and down each space, being sure to not hit the gums directly with the floss.
Even if you don’t have gum disease, a way to protect your gums from developing it is by seeing your dentist every six months. That’s only twice a year, but it’s enough to give your teeth and gums a deep cleaning that you can continue to maintain at home. In addition to getting your teeth cleaned, these appointments are important for your dentist to examine your mouth and check for signs of any potential issues. Catching potential issues early on has been proven to save you time, money, pain, and/or irreversible teeth damage later on down the road.
Just like you would listen to your doctor when they tell you what’s needed to improve or maintain your health, you should do the same with your dentist. Your dentist wants you to have healthy teeth and gums, so take their instructions to heart and do what you can to maintain the integrity of your smile. When you choose to not practice good at-home care or not follow the instructions provided by the dentist, you are risking harm to your teeth and gums.
If you’re ready to care for your teeth and gums, make an appointment with Dr. Robert Berry and Mountain Aire Dentistry today. We’re here for you, whether your gums are perfectly healthy or if you’re showing signs of gum disease — call us now!
When you visit our Broomfield dental office, your smile is our top priority. Our Dentists invite you to experience the difference a warm and caring team can provide for you and your family. Enjoy a unique and comfortable dental experience designed to bring a healthier and happier smile back into your life. We invite you to call or visit our Broomfield dental office and discover the exceptional difference we offer to those we serve.