A healthy mouth does not just consist of healthy teeth. The gums are the supporting tissue that keeps your teeth in place, and they need to be kept healthy too. Gum disease is usually painless, and you might not even realize that there is something wrong until you visit your dentist for your regular dental check-up.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Plaque is the main culprit here. As it builds up along the gumline the bacteria in plaque causes infections. If the symptoms are left untreated early the gums and teeth start to suffer. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease and the gums become tender, red, and swollen. They may also be inflamed and may bleed.
Is Gum Disease Serious?
At its early stages, gingivitis does not impact gum tissue or teeth, and the condition can be reversed.
Periodontitis is advanced gingivitis and it affects the teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues. Often, the tissues that hold the teeth in place are so severely damaged and your teeth may feel loose. Additionally, your bite may be impacted, and some of your teeth may have to be removed.
Preventing Gum Disease
Good oral health is important, and the best way to ensure it is to have two professional dental cleans annually. However, be on the lookout for any of the symptoms of gum disease and see your dentist sooner if your gums are swollen, red, tender, or prone to bleeding. Other symptoms to look out for are bad breath, a bad taste in the mouth, permanent teeth that are loose or separating, and gums that are pulling away from the teeth.
You can prevent gum disease if you follow a good dental routine. This includes:
Plaque is more effectively removed by flossing your teeth at least once a day. Floss can reach where your toothbrush can’t, and it removes plaque from between the teeth. Any time will do, but at night, before bedtime, is the best.
- Regular and Proper Brushing
You should brush your teeth after every meal. If you can’t, then twice a day will suffice to remove food and plaque from the teeth and gums. Always prefer a toothbrush with soft bristles and electric or battery-powered ones are preferable.
Remember, your tongue also has bacteria, and you should also brush it every time you brush your teeth. Electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque. Change your toothbrush as soon as it starts to fray, usually every three months.
Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to the gums, using short strokes and pressing gently. The insides of the front teeth must be cleaned with several short strokes, holding the brush vertically.
- Fluoride Toothpaste
The color and flavor of the toothpaste you prefer don’t matter if it contains fluoride and is approved by the ADA.
The best types of mouthwash are those with therapeutic benefits and are ADA approved. A good mouthwash will help prevent gum disease, reduce plaque and tartar build-up, and will remove food particles from between the teeth. Mouthwash does not substitute flossing and brushing.
- Smoking and Diet in Gum Disease
If you smoke or use other tobacco products, you are more susceptible to gum disease because they weaken the immune system.
Certain foods and beverages also affect the health of your teeth and gums. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and also dairy products. Black and green teas kill bacteria, and water contains fluoride so you should drink plenty of these. Fluoride is also found in seafood and some poultry. Avoid drinking sweet carbonated drinks, alcohol, sticky candy, and starchy foods.
- Professional Oral Care
Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California, offers you professional care for your teeth and gums. Make an appointment to have your teeth cleaned twice a year to remove plaque, tartar, and stains. Your dental hygienist will also be able to pick up any problems sooner rather than later, making gum disease easier to treat.
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.