When it comes to gum disease, it can be easy to think that it just happens to certain people, such as those who don’t brush or floss. Gum disease has many factors that affect its prevalence but much can be done to prevent and even slow down its progress.
One of the trickiest things about gum disease is that many of its symptoms are what we call “silent symptoms.” You may have gum disease and not even realize it. Some patients experience gum disease symptoms, such as bleeding gums, but don’t associate bleeding gums as problematic.
Typical gum disease symptoms to watch for are:
- Red, swollen gums
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
Be on the lookout for these signs. Catching gum disease in the early stages is important! Gum disease typically progresses with time when not treated, so much so that it can eventually lead to tooth loss.
How To Best Prevent Gum Disease
Much can be done to prevent problems from developing with your gum tissue. The great thing is that many of these tips are things you can do daily at home to keep your teeth and gum tissue healthy. The other good thing is that it doesn’t involve lots of money or time when it comes to taking care of your mouth. Just a few simple products and a few minutes a day can help to keep gum disease at bay.
1. Brushing Your Teeth And Your Gums!
The most simple yet effective is brushing your teeth and gums. Don’t forget to gently massage your gum tissue with your toothbrush, as plaque likes to sit on your gum tissue too! We strongly recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush for this and light pressure so that you don’t cause damage to your gum tissue.
2. Wrapping Your Floss In A “C” Shape
There is a correct way to floss your teeth. In our dental office, we refer to it as flossing in a “c” shape. This means being intentional when you floss to wrap the floss around your tooth. Once your floss is hugging the side of your tooth, you can gently move the floss up and down.
If the floss is wrapped in a “c” shape, then the floss should slide between your gum tissue and your tooth. This helps to break up and remove the bacteria that cause gingivitis and gum disease.
3. Visiting Your Dentist Regularly
We recommend seeing your dentist once to twice yearly for a routine check-up. Having your mouth evaluated by your dentist helps to catch any dental issues, such as gingivitis before they become more significant.
4. Routine Dental Cleanings With Your Dental Hygienist
Even with good home care, bacteria and build-up get left behind. Seeing your dental hygienist every six months to have your teeth cleaned can help you best manage your gum tissue.
5. Replacing Your Toothbrush
Every toothbrush wears down from use. We recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months so that your brushing is most effective.
6. Routine Dental X-rays
DId you know that dental x-rays can help to diagnose gum disease? Yearly x-rays allow your dentist to evaluate your teeth and the various things that support your teeth.
7. Healthy Eating
What you eat affects your health, but it also can affect your gum tissue. Food can affect the amount of inflammation in your body and periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease. Eating a well-balanced diet helps your body to get the nutrients it needs to function correctly, and it also helps to keep inflammation to a minimum.
8. Reduce Your Stress
Stress seems to wreak havoc on your immune system. When this happens the bacteria in your mouth can take advantage of the situation and cause problems with your gum tissue. Making time in your schedule can be beneficial for you and your mouth!
9. Don’t Ignore Bleeding!
It’s surprising how many people think that bleeding gums are normal. If you get a cut on your hand and it bleeds, you would probably give it attention because bleeding skin is not normal. Your gum tissue should not bleed for brushing, flossing, or spontaneously out of the blue.
If you notice any bleeding with your gum tissue or if it’s been a while since you’ve had your gum tissue evaluated, we recommend making an appointment with one of our dentists or dental hygienists.