People at times push dental care aside in favor of more important health concerns. Yet, ignoring dental hygiene can lead to serious issues like periodontal or gum disease. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and minimize the risk. Find out how you can take care of your oral health and keep your teeth and gums strong.
What is gum disease?
Before moving on to how to prevent it, let us look at what gum disease exactly is. Gum disease is an infection of the gums caused by bacteria contained in plaque, which is a sticky coating that forms due to poor oral hygiene. It builds up between the teeth and gums, causing the latter to become infected and inflamed. If left untreated, the disease can worsen and cause the gums and bones to break down, thereby leading to tooth loss.
Prevention and remedies for gum disease
Despite the negative effects of gum disease, it’s easily treatable, especially in the initial stages. It’s important to note that prevention entails ongoing dental care and not something that should be done once or twice. Here is what you can do:
Brush and floss: Almost everyone brushes and flosses, but not all do it right. One should brush teeth with the toothbrush set at a 45-degree angle pointing at the gums. Not only should your teeth get brushed, but also your gums. Use short strokes so that every tooth gets equal care. Gently clean your tongue too, either using your toothbrush or with a tongue cleaner.
For flossing, use a ‘C’ motion to work the floss over the gums. Move it up and down to clean between each tooth. Brushing and flossing twice a day can go a long way in preventing gum disease. Follow up with a good mouthwash to kill the remaining bacteria.
Change your toothbrush: Replace your toothbrush every three months. Use a soft-bristled brush that is gentle on the gums, yet strong enough to remove debris. If you have difficulty brushing, get an electric toothbrush that can do the job more easily.
Limit sugary items: As tasty as they are, sugary edibles make the perfect home for gum disease-causing bacteria. Limit your intake and replace artificial sweets with fresh fruits. If you need to chew gum, choose a sugar-free one.
Quit Tobacco: Smoking and chewing tobacco can ruin dental health. Quit today if you engage in these habits and don’t develop them if you’ve never tried them.
Visit the dentist: The dental clinic is not anyone’s favorite place to be, but regular checkups can catch infections in time. Schedule an appointment twice a year. The doctor will perform scaling and may prescribe other treatments depending on your oral health.
Gum disease can have serious implications, if not tackled in time. Treatment is expensive in the later stages, which is why you should take action at the earliest. The remedies for gum disease outlined here can help prevent and eliminate this common threat.