When most of us think about oral health, we think about nice, bright, even teeth. And your teeth are indeed one part of oral health. At least as necessary, and perhaps even more critical, regarding good oral health is having healthy gums.
When your gums are healthy, they hold your teeth firmly in place and provide a nice tight seal to keep bacteria out. The experts at Preva Dental, led by Dr. Prathima Rasamsetty, want to help you keep your gums healthy and working well for many years.
Gum disease, called gingivitis in the early stages and periodontitis later, is a condition that worsens over time. It causes inflammation in your gums because the bacteria in your mouth mix with saliva and food particles to create a sticky film called plaque.
Plaque can build up on the surface of your teeth. As it builds up, it also hardens. If the hardened plaque isn’t removed, it irritates and damages your gums. Your teeth eventually loosen and may even need to be removed.
But there are things you can do to interrupt this process. Gum disease can be prevented, or if it’s caught early, it can be reversed. Here are five crucial things you can do to keep your gums healthy.
Good oral hygiene at home is one of the most critical steps to keep your gums. Brush twice daily, for at least two minutes, and floss once daily. Mouthwash can be helpful. If you struggle with brushing or flossing, discuss it with our staff. We can recommend special tools to help.
The most careful and consistent at-home hygiene won’t prevent gum disease. You also need regular professional cleanings. Some plaque can’t be reached with floss or brush. Schedule and attend your appointments at Preva Dental.
Everyone is different, and you may have specific risk factors that make gum disease more likely. For example, if you grind your teeth, experience fluctuating hormone levels, or take certain medications, you may have a higher risk of developing gum disease than an average person.
When you eat a nutritious, balanced diet, it helps to keep inflammation in your entire body lower. A healthy diet also supports your immune system so that it’s in good shape and can resist infections such as those caused by gum disease.
If you smoke, quit. If you use any form of tobacco, you should stop. Tobacco is associated with a far higher chance of developing gum disease. Tobacco use can make it far harder to treat if you already have gum disease.
Do your gums feel tender? Have you noticed they bleed when you brush? Those are indications of possible gum disease. Schedule your appointment at Preva Dental today!