We should all know the importance of taking care of our teeth. Routine daily brushing is essential for ensuring that you stave off issues like tooth decay and discoloration, but are you doing enough for your gums? Gum disease can affect even people who have relatively healthy teeth, otherwise, what else should you be doing or what should you be doing differently to manage it?
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is best described as inflammation in the gums that is largely caused by plaque building around and under the gum line. It can cause gums to be red, swollen, tender, and more likely to bleed when brushing, which is one of the most common symptoms. Gum disease can lead to chronic bad breath issues, as well as permanent tooth loss, so the sooner you get on it, the better.
Flossing is vital
Flossing is vital to your oral health in general, so you should be doing it once a day. Some people can experience discomfort with flossing, often due to small issues with tooth alignment. If that’s the case, a Waterpik can help reach the places that floss alone might not, or you can talk to your dentist about other alternatives, as there are types of floss designed to be easier to use for places where they might otherwise get stuck.
Using the right cleaning products
If you are investing the time and effort needed to take care of your teeth, but you are still finding that gum disease can be hard to shake off, then you might want to change some of the products that you’re using. Fluoride toothpaste is amongst the best for healthy gums, and there are also therapeutic mouthwashes designed to fight gum disease, as well. Be mindful that there are both high-strength mouthwashes as well as daily mouthwashes, you might not want to use the high-strength ones for too long as they can cause some discoloration. Your dentist should be able to recommend a good one and give you some instructions on how to best use it.
Get regular dental cleanings
Speaking of visiting your dentist, the single best thing you can do is ensure that you’re getting cleanings on a regular basis. Aside from clearing the plaque that is the cause of gum disease more thoroughly, providers like Durham Dental Center can also catch the signs of it developing often before you do. As such, they are best suited to give you advice on how to treat it, too.
Know what to avoid
Most of the things that are bad for your teeth are going to be bad for your gums, as well. Drinking soda and other sugary drinks lead to the spread of bacteria that affect your gums aside from causing tooth decay. Smoking weakens the immune system, which leads to more frequent gum inflammation and makes it harder to recover from gum infection, too.
Gum disease can be serious, leading to acute infections, tooth loss, and a host of other issues. Keep the tips above in mind and, most importantly of all, ensure that you keep making appointments with your dentist to stay on top of the issue.