Healthy gums are a big part of good oral hygiene, and they can have a positive impact on your life. Avoiding gum disease and its ultimate result (tooth loss) is one major impact. Others include avoiding inflammations or infections in other parts of the body, preventing halitosis (chronically bad breath), and maintaining that beautiful smile.
Here are seven key ways you can take good care of your gum tissue so it can take good care of you!
1. If You Smoke – Quit
Smoking cigarettes or otherwise using tobacco products, according to the CDC, greatly increases your risk of getting gum disease. The nicotine, smoke, and other ingredients in modern cigarettes weaken your immune system, discolored gums and teeth, and make gum tissue to heal more slowly.
Quitting smoking is a good starting point, but of course, there are other factors at work in keeping your gums healthy. To those we now turn.
2. Maintain a Healthy, Vitamin-rich Diet
The modern American diet is typically far too rich in sugar and horribly lacking in necessary vitamins and minerals. The better you eat, the better off your gums are going to be.
That entails going easy on high-sugar foods and drinks and too many carbs. It also means consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C and calcium (think milk and oranges!) are especially helpful to gums, teeth, and the alveolar bone mass below the gums.
Also, drink water frequently to flush out your mouth, and eat foods like apples and fresh carrots that can scrape teeth free of any sticky film.
3. Practice Good Oral Hygiene
The leading cause of periodontal (gum) disease in the US today is poor oral hygiene. Only by brushing regularly and properly can you expect to lower your risk of getting gingivitis or a more advanced form of periodontal disease called “periodontitis.”
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that will be safe for your tooth’s enamel as well as to use gently on gums. Brush at a 45-degree angle in short strokes. Use a toothpaste with fluoride in it, and don’t forget to floss!
Remember that flossing in your interdental spaces helps keep food debris from affecting your gums. All too often, particles trapped between teeth become the beginning of a new bacteria colony that digs below the gum line in “deep periodontal pockets” and become gum disease.
4. Use an Antiseptic Mouthwash
Too many times, people brush and even floss but neglect to use a dental mouthwash/rinse. A good antiseptic mouthwash is the third leg of the stool of oral hygiene, and it takes little expense or effort to include it.
Your mouth wash will accomplish three things for you:
- Wash away any food debris that was loosened up during brushing and flossing but that is still clinging to your teeth or gums.
- Kill harmful bacteria. Make sure you choose a brand that kills most of the germs. Ask your periodontist for a recommendation if you are not sure which mouthwash to use.
- Most mouthwashes today include ingredients that will eliminate bad breath and leave your mouth feeling fresh and rejuvenated.
5. Don’t Do Anything That Will Harm Your Gums
Sometimes, gums get injured for unusual reasons. For example, they can get sore after getting stabbed by sharp-ended chips you are eating or scorched by too-hot soup or coffee.
Remember that gum tissue is sensitive, and yet, it’s the main thing standing between you and tooth loss. And injured gums are more vulnerable to infection and gum disease.
6. Keep Tabs on the Condition of Your Gums
Even after you have done everything possible to keep your gums in good health, it’s still possible that periodontal disease could develop. More than half the adult population of the US experiences some form of gum disease at one point or other in their life.
That’s why it’s a good idea to schedule regular dental and periodontal checkups – at least annually. Pay attention to the condition of your gums, and if you spot redness, bleeding, or other trouble signs, schedule a special checkup with your local periodontist to make sure everything’s okay.
7. Treat Gum Disease Quickly If It Occurs
Prevention is always preferable when it comes to gum disease, but it’s good to know that there are good treatment options like laser periodontal treatment available today.
If your periodontist discovers gum disease in your mouth, you want to treat it as soon as possible. Laser periodontal treatment is often the best way to treat gum disease because it eliminates more mouth bacteria, is non-invasive, saves more of your good gum tissue, stimulates gum tissue growth, and has a faster, easier recovery process.
Those who undergo laser periodontal treatment say that there is very little pain, swelling, or bleeding of the gums as compared to other treatment options. And the treatment can be completed conveniently in a single dental visit.
To learn more about laser periodontal treatment or about how to prevent gum disease, contact the experts at Ormond Beach Periodontics & Implant Dentistry in Central Florida today!