Healthy oral habits can prevent issues that may lead to infections such as gum disease. This problem, also known as gingivitis, can be common in both children and adults; however, if it is left untreated, it may worsen and cause serious discomfort or cause secondary infections within the body. Oral treatments such as scaling and…
At-home Prevention Tips: Gum Disease
Gum disease is a serious condition that can cause tooth loss, bone loss, and infections. Fortunately, it is both treatable and preventable. This disease can affect people of all ages. Without proper treatment, it can progress and be difficult to reverse. The most effective approach is to stop the condition from ever developing. You can get help from your dentist, but there are also steps you can take on your own to maintain good gum health.
Gum disease: what it is and how it starts
This disease, otherwise known as periodontitis, occurs when bacteria invade teeth at the gumline. It deteriorates the tooth, eventually causing it to pull away from the gums. Bacteria cause a sticky substance called plaque to form on the teeth. If it is not removed, it hardens, becoming tartar, which can destroy the teeth and bones. The bacteria can also infect the mouth and, eventually, spread into other parts of the body.
The first step to preventing gum disease is to brush. People should brush their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride-based toothpaste. Make sure to brush both sides of every tooth and to spend time brushing the gums and gumline. Dentists advise people to brush for at least two minutes at a time, especially after meals. Brushing removes plaque and keeps bacteria from accumulating on teeth and gums. Individuals should make sure to replace their toothbrushes every three minutes.
Another smart way to prevent gum disease is to floss regularly. Flossing will dislodge food particles from in between teeth and the gumline. To do so well, the individual should floss once a day, gently wedging the floss in between each tooth. In a non-vigorous motion, the person should move the floss to clean the teeth and gums. Flossing too often or too hard can damage the gums.
Using an antiseptic rinse can also help to keep gum disease away. To use it, the person should swish the solution around the mouth for 30 to 60 seconds at a time. Using the rinse once or twice a day can supplement good brushing and flossing. The general dentist can recommend products.
Limiting the intake of sugar
Sugary and starchy foods that stay on teeth too long can quickly cause plaque. Not only can foods with a lot of sugar and starch cause tooth decay, but there is also a risk of gum disease. Brushing immediately after eating these foods will help to ensure plaque and tartar do not build up. However, it is even wiser to reduce the amount of sugar a person eats, to begin with.
Doing your part to protect your gums
You work hard to avoid cavities, but are you doing enough to prevent gum disease? This condition can have severe consequences if you are not diligent about maintaining good oral hygiene. Proper brushing and flossing, along with other activities, can reduce your risk of having this disease. You can also speak to your dentist about strategies you can use to keep your gums healthy and strong.
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