You may not know it but gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, so it is essential to know how to get healthy gums, and how to keep them that way. The scary part is that most people don’t know that they have gum disease because it is relatively painless but by paying attention to your dental hygiene and brushing and flossing daily you can keep your gums healthy.
How Does Gum Disease Develop?
Gum disease is a sign of unhealthy gums and it typically develops in stages. If you catch it early enough your dentist may be able to reverse it. In the early stages your gums may become irritated and bleed easily. Over time this can lead to damage to the bone and fibres, loose teeth and even tooth loss.
So how can you avoid gum disease and tooth loss? These are our favourite tips for healthy gums:
Watch what goes into your mouth
Eating a diet rich in vegetables and low in sugar should be your first area of focus. Leafy green vegetables are high in vitamin C and other mineral and vitamin content. Adding onions to your diet may help to neutralise the bacteria in your mouth.
Not only is smoking bad for your respiratory system, it is also bad for your gum health. Smoking interferes with your body’s ability to ward off infections and to heal after damage.
Always remember to floss
Brushing your teeth is integral to your dental hygiene but regular flossing is what will help with healthy gums.
Brush your teeth twice a day using a soft toothbrush. Consider using an electric toothbrush or a toothbrush with crisscross bristles, as these may reach the areas between your teeth and gums. Remember to angle your toothbrush correctly, and hold it at 45 degrees to your gum line. Use the tip of the toothbrush to get behind your front and bottom teeth. Also remember to scrape your tongue when you brush because the tongue can harbour a lot of bacteria. For your kids, you can visit this guide on how to choose the best electric toothbrush for toddlers.
Regular dental cleaning
Save reminders for your dental appointments in your calendar and make sure you have a dental cleaning twice a year. Only a cleaning by your dentist can remove tartar so even if you do brush and use mouthwash religiously, you will need a professional cleaning to keep your gums in top shape.
Drink more water
Make sure you drink enough water, especially if you eat or drink something with sugar. Drink water throughout the day to keep your mouth hydrated.
Signs And Symptoms Your Gums Are Not Healthy
Most often gum disease is asymptomatic but the first most noticeable symptom is red, swollen or inflamed gums. Your mouth is full of bacteria at any given time and if it is not removed, it builds up against your teeth in the form of plaque. Plaque can be removed daily through flossing and brushing twice a day, to contribute to healthy gums.
Gum Disease Develops In Three Stages:
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and can present with very mild symptoms. With mild gingivitis you may see a slight inflammation of plaque at the gum line and if you do not remove it, it may cause an infection. It is also possible for some bleeding to occur when brushing or flossing with mild gingivitis but your dentist can usually help you reverse it if it has not spread to the soft tissue that hold the teeth in place.
When gingivitis spreads to the fibres and bones that support the teeth, the disease is usually irreversible. At this point you may develop pockets below your gum line, which can trap food particles. While you won’t be able to reverse any damage, your dentist may be able to help you from preventing it from spreading further.
During this final stage of gum disease the bone or soft tissue surrounding your teeth are affected. This can case your teeth to loosen or move around in your mouth.
Don’t delay – protect your teeth and ensure you have healthy gums. Contact Dental 266 for tips for healthy gums today: 02 9051 0600