It’s important to keep in mind that dental care isn’t just about taking care of your teeth; it’s also about taking care of your gums. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, your gums will suffer and you may develop gum disease (also known as periodontal disease). Your gums may become red and swollen, and you may notice pockets around your teeth. You could also suffer from bad breath, tooth sensitivity, or heavy tartar buildup. It’s important to understand that if you develop gum disease, your oral health will be put in jeopardy. Fortunately, it’s possible to learn how to prevent gum disease.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
If you start noticing symptoms of gum disease, or your dentist or dental hygienist brings it to your attention, don’t wait around. Update your oral routine immediately to prevent the condition from worsening. As we mentioned above, signs of gum disease include the following:
- Swollen, red, inflamed gums
- Bad breath
- Tooth sensitivity
- Heavy tartar buildup on teeth
- Gums that bleed after brushing or flossing
If you notice any of these symptoms, there’s a chance you’re not caring for your teeth properly. Make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your concerns. Also, consider reviewing the stages of periodontal disease to better understand how the condition progresses.
Did you know that smoking doubles your risk of developing gum disease? Smoking weakens your body’s immune system, which means your body will have a harder time fighting off the disease. In addition, once you have gum disease, smoking will make it more difficult for your mouth to heal. So if you want to learn how to prevent gum disease, you should consider quitting smoking if you already do so and avoid developing a smoking habit if you don’t.
Consume a Healthy Diet and Stay Hydrated
As you’re surely aware, a poor diet may lead to poor oral health. Avoid sugary and starchy foods, which can feed the bacteria in your mouth and contribute to gum disease. In addition, avoid sugary, carbonated soft drinks. Stick to water, which will help wash away acids and enzymes. It can also be helpful to chew sugar-free gum, which stimulates saliva production. Saliva can also wash away harmful acids and enzymes that would otherwise attack your teeth.
Brush and Floss Your Teeth Properly
One of the best ways to prevent gum disease is simply to brush and floss your teeth properly. Twice a day, brush your teeth using a soft-bristled brush. Be sure to take your time (spend about two minutes brushing in total) and brush gently. Also, remember to replace the brush when its bristles become frayed. And at least once a day, floss your teeth, making sure that you’re guiding the floss along both sides of each tooth. It’s a good idea to review your brushing and flossing techniques with your dental hygienist to ensure that you know the proper procedures.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
During routine visits to your dentist’s office, your dental team will inspect your mouth and look for signs of damage. This greatly increases the likelihood that you’ll be able to catch gum disease in its early stages. It also allows you to discuss how you can improve your gum health with trained professionals who know you and your exact symptoms and habits. Plus, during your visit, your dental hygienist or dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth, removing tartar and plaque. This process cannot be completed at home so it’s imperative that you visit your dentist every six months or so.
All this to say, you simply can’t overestimate the importance of visiting your dentist on a regular basis.
Speaking of which, are you looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist near Springfield, Missouri? Contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!