Tips on how to avoid gum disease and stay healthy from Gambrills dentist
Good oral health isn’t just about the teeth. Your gums play an important role in your mouth, helping to hold your teeth in place and protecting the bone. Healthy gums will appear pink and firm, fitting snugly around each tooth. When gum disease is present, the gum tissue will begin to pull away from the teeth. Over time, the tissue and bone will deteriorate, leading to shifting teeth that may fall out or need to be removed. The good news is that gum disease is largely preventable by taking a proactive approach to your oral hygiene. Below, Dr. Bingham-Lester of Gambrills explains her tips for how to avoid gum disease and stay healthy.
What is gum disease?
In the course of a day you use your mouth for a variety of functions, from speaking to eating. At the same time, bacteria are continually building up in the mouth. With good oral hygiene, you can control the growth of this bacteria and keep the mouth healthy. In the absence of good oral hygiene, the bacteria will continue to grow, leading to a buildup of plaque, a sticky substance that causes tooth
decay, inflammation of the gum tissue and can lead to infections that compromise the bone structure.
The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis. In most cases, gingivitis is painless, so many individuals have no idea there is something wrong. Still, there are a few symptoms to look out for including:
- Tender, inflamed gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Bleeding while brushing
The damage of gingivitis can be reversed through treatment, however if left untreated, it will advance to periodontitis. During this advanced stage of gum disease, the bone, gum, and tissue that connect to your teeth are impacted and can result in tooth loss.
How to avoid gum disease
Gum disease is considered a preventable condition. Here are some tips you can follow to avoid gum disease and keep your teeth healthy.
- Brush at least twice per day – It seems simple, but this is one of the best things you can do to prevent gum disease. Make sure you are brushing for at least two minutes each time using a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean all the surfaces of the teeth. Consider using an electric toothbrush if dexterity is a problem and use a toothpaste with fluoride.
- Floss at least once per day – Flossing is essential to removing food particles that become trapped between teeth and are difficult to remove with brushing alone.
- Maintain regular dental appointments – Your dental team is trained to detect the early signs of gum disease. When you see your dentist twice per year symptoms can be treated before they cause serious damage. In addition, professional cleanings will remove any plaque buildup that may have been missed with brushing and flossing at home.
- Quit Smoking – Smoking is strongly linked to gum disease and because it weakens your immune system, it also makes it harder for the body to fight off gum disease infection. Quitting smoking can greatly improve your overall health.
- Eat a healthy diet – The foods in your diet can contribute to tooth decay. Make sure to limit sugary or starchy foods and if you do eat them, brush your teeth afterward. Instead, try snacking on crunchy fruits and vegetables that are healthy and can also help keep your teeth clean. Also be sure to consume calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.
The importance of avoiding gum disease
Gum disease has been linked to other health conditions such as increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and certain types of cancer. Keeping your mouth healthy and preventing gum disease can help you live a healthier life overall.
Schedule your routine cleaning and exam at Bingham-Lester Dentistry
Has it been a while since you’ve been to the dentist? Maybe you are new to the Gambrills area and are searching for a family dentist. Either way, the team at Bingham-Lester Dentistry is ready to welcome you into our family. We offer a wide range of dental services including general dentistry, restorative services, and cosmetic procedures. If you have additional questions on how to avoid gum disease or want to book an appointment, give us a call at 410-451-0041 .