Having healthy gums is extremely important when it comes to your oral health.
Healthy gums help support your teeth by protecting them from bacteria and plaque and, when they are not taken care of, can succumb to serious conditions such as periodontitis.
While visiting your dentist regularly is one key step to maintaining good gum health, there are others ways you can take care of your gums between dental visits.
Let’s take a look at the severity of gum disease as well as ways you can easily improve your gum health:
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by the build-up of plaque along and under the gum line. This stick film-like plaque is full of bacteria and can cause infections that can harm your gums as well as the bone underneath them.
Excessive plaque can also cause gingivitis, which is the earliest stage of gum disease and causes your gums to become tender, swollen, red, inflamed, and prone to bleeding.
Thankfully, because gingivitis does not affect the bone and tissue holding your teeth in place, the damage is treatable and reversible.
However, if left untreated, it can lead to a condition known as periodontitis (an advanced form of gum disease). This condition affects the bones and can ruin them along with your gums and connective tissues.
Periodontitis can progress to advanced periodontitis where the bone and fibers supporting your teeth are destroyed, leading to an impacted bite and potentially the removal of teeth.
Signs of gum disease include having constant bad breath and separated or loose teeth as well as bleeding of the gums, swollen gums, or gums that have pulled away from your teeth.
Gum disease is preventable and by taking steps to improve your gum health between dental visits, you can avoid these serious conditions altogether!
How to Keep Your Gums Healthy
1. Brush Your Teeth Properly
The number one step in overall good oral health is to brush your teeth regularly. However, you have to make sure you are properly brushing your teeth to make this step effective.
Make sure you brush twice a day for two minutes at a time (that’s 30 seconds for each quadrant of your mouth) while holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle.
Doing so will ensure that you are removing food particles and plaque buildup as well as encouraging gum recovery.
2. Floss Regularly
Brushing your teeth can only do so much so it’s important to floss regularly (at least once a day) to remove any food particles and plaque that are stuck between your teeth.
Doing so will help protect your gums from plaque buildup along the gum line and prevent the development of gingivitis and periodontitis.
3. Use a Flouride Toothpaste
To improve your gum health while brushing, use a flouride toothpaste. Fluoride is a substance that will give your teeth and gums extra protection against bacteria and decay.
It will also help keep your teeth cleaner and strengthen your tooth enamel, so it’s a great choice for good oral health!
4. Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash
Along with fluoride toothpaste, you can also add an antibacterial mouthwash into your daily oral hygiene routine.
Mouthwash can help remove any leftover plaque and food particles missed by brushing and flossing and help protect your teeth and gums from harmful bacteria.
However, keep in mind that an antibacterial mouthwash is not a replacement for regularly brushing and flossing your teeth!
5. Watch What You Eat and Drink
Foods and drinks that are high in substances such as acid and sugar, like soft drinks, coffee, and candy, can negatively affect your gum health if consumed regularly.
If you do partake in these types of foods and drinks, be sure to clean your teeth immediately to reduce the accumulation of bacteria and plaque along your gum line.
6. Stop Smoking
There are innumerable benefits of quitting smoking and your gum health is one of them. Smoking is one of the biggest contributors to the onset of gum disease!
Because smoking is known to weaken your immune system, it is more difficult to fight off a gum infection as well as heal from any infections.
7. Protect Your Teeth
Taking your lifestyle into consideration is another way you can improve your gum health between dental visits.
If you play sports or participate in other physical activities, you should wear a mouthguard to prevent damage to your teeth and gums during accidental bumps or falls.
Likewise, if you habitually grind your teeth, your dentist may recommend a night mouth guard to protect your gums from unnecessary wear and tear. These mouthguards can also help prevent long-term dental issues, headaches, and a sore jaw.
8. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
The only way to know if you are successfully improving your gum health between dental visits is to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups!
At least twice a year, you should visit your dentist so they can assess the condition of your gums and teeth. They can also spot any oral health issues and recommend proactive treatment.
Take Care of Your Gums!
Your gums act as a protective layer around your teeth to prevent disease-causing bacteria from accessing the deeper parts of your teeth. They also help to keep your teeth in place.
So it’s no secret why it’s extremely important that you take good care of your gums!
However, if your gums are starting to show signs of gum disease, it’s important that you take action today so that the issue can be treated and reversed.
Our team at Oxford Dental is dedicated to helping you maintain good oral health. We are here to address your gum-related concerns as well as support you in improving your gum health.
If you have any questions regarding how you can improve your gum health, don’t hesitate to contact us at one of our following North Edmonton offices: