3 Easy Steps Anyone Can Do to Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease, which is also known as periodontal disease, is an infection in the tissue that holds your teeth in place: your gums.
It is important to pay special attention to your gums. After all, if you’re not taking care of your gums, then you’re not taking care of your mouth. Here are some of the primary symptoms of gum disease:
- Red gums
- Swollen gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Gums that pull away from your teeth
Advanced symptoms of the disease are loose teeth or exposure of the tooth root. If you have symptoms of gum disease, your family dentist will examine your teeth and gums to confirm the diagnosis. Luckily, if symptoms of gum disease are caught early, the treatment may be as simple as a thorough dental cleaning and a revision of your at-home dental care routine. Unfortunately, some advanced stages require dentures or even surgery.
Here are some of the easiest ways you can help prevent gum disease from plaguing your pearly whites.
The first step to preventing this is brushing. Even the best dentist will tell you that brushing and flossing are the two most effective ways to prevent gum problems. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day, but knowing what a quality toothbrush entails is also important.
The point of brushing is to remove plaque from every tooth, which isn’t always easy. Keep in mind that a toothbrush should have a small head to maneuver facilely among the hidden spots in the mouth. The toothpaste should also contain fluoride to inhibit tooth decay. When brushing the teeth, however, many people forget to brush the gums. This can help keep them healthy, but it’s important to never scrub hard since that’s a fast way to damage the connective tissue and gum. The motions should be circular, forward, and backward with areas susceptible to dental issues receiving more attention.
The second step to preventing gum disease is flossing. Dental floss enables you to reach between the teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t. It’s meant to remove the food particles that usually get lodged in there throughout the day. If you have not had a professional cleaning in a while, flossing may prove challenging due to tartar buildup. Even patients with full or partial dentures should remember to floss regularly.
The third prevention step is rinsing with mouthwash. The American Dental Association verifies that mouthwash does a good job of reducing bacteria in the mouth, which minimizes the risk of plaque in teeth. Rinsing with mouthwash regularly also gets rid of food particles that may have survived despite brushing and flossing.
The successful treatment of any gum diseases depends in part on getting regular dental checkups and following a complete oral hygiene routine. And if you smoke, quit. Tobacco use can interfere with the recovery from gum diseases and increase the risk of recurrence.
These are just some of the simplest ways to prevent gum disease. For more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to Gainesville Dental Associates about gum disease, dentures, and more.