Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, plagues millions of adults over the age of 30. And, many don’t even realize it before it is too late. Symptoms may be subtle at first, but they can quickly advance to swollen and inflamed gums, receding gums, bleeding gums, bad breath, pus between teeth, loose teeth, and more.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease – and the only one that can be reversed if caught early. Once it has been left to advance, there is no turning back. However, with the help of the right dentist, you will be able to slow down or stop its advancement.
The best course of action in fighting gum disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are a few steps you can take to prevent gum disease.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Maintaining your oral health starts with good oral hygiene. That means brushing at least twice each day and flossing daily, too. Visiting the dentist at a minimum of every 6 months for a professional cleaning is also a vital step in preventing gum disease.
This disease does not just happen overnight. Instead, if plaque and tartar are left to build up on your teeth, they will begin to cause issues with the gums – and can kick start gum disease.
Make it a point to practice good oral hygiene.
Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
You know that a healthy diet can do a lot of good things for your body. But it can also give your oral health a boost. Carbs and sugar act may as well be feeding the plaque on your teeth and causing tooth decay. The acids associated with them can further damage teeth and gums. As a result, large consumption of these types of food can put you at risk for gum disease.
Just as the rest of your body, your teeth and gums need nutrients and vitamins – especially vitamin C which is incredible for gum health. To make sure you are getting what you need, eat a well-balanced diet and consider always brushing (or at least rinsing) your teeth after you eat.
Drink More Water
A dry mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. That is why the body has saliva – its own defense against the unwanted plaque it brings. While you eat and after, your mouth naturally salivates to push everything along so it doesn’t stick around your mouth (literally).
You can help your saliva out throughout the day by staying hydrated. Drinking more hydrating beverages can help reduce your risk of gum disease.
Swishing with mouthwash once a day will help you to remove any food particles or debris that may be hiding in your mouth. It can also kill off any bacteria that has been hanging around in there, too.
Talk to your dentist about a good mouthwash that you can use regularly. There are many to choose from, some being more beneficial for your needs than others. For instance, if you struggle with dry mouth, then choose a mouthwash geared toward that issue.
Dr. Chris Chui and his team at San Francisco Dental Wellness, a leading dental practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, help patients understand the integral relationship between oral and overall health.