Gum disease is a very common condition, but there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing it. Follow these tips to take care of your gums and help them stay healthy.
1. Brush Thoroughly
You probably already brush your teeth every day, but you might not be brushing thoroughly enough to protect your gums from disease. Dentists recommend that you hold your toothbrush at an angle to the gum line so that the bristles gently stroke the tops of your gums as well as your teeth. Make a gentle circular motion to clean the teeth and gums, without pressing too hard. Be sure to clean all surfaces of the teeth, including the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces.
2. Floss Every Day
If your dentist nags you about flossing, then they have a good reason to do so. Flossing is one of the best weapons you have in the fight against gum disease. Whereas brushing cleans only the exposed surfaces of the teeth, floss cleans the narrow gaps between them. The best flossing tool is string floss, but if that doesn't work well for you, interdental brushes are a good alternative.
3. Stop Smoking
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your oral health. Gum disease is more common in smokers and often more severe. There are many possible reasons for this trend, including the fact that chemicals in cigarettes reduce the flow of blood through gum tissue, which limits the ability to heal. Smoking also leads to dry mouth, which prevents enzymes in saliva from combatting the growth of bacteria. Cutting down, or better yet, quitting smoking altogether, is an excellent way to protect your gum health.
4. Reduce Sugar Intake
Bacteria consume sugar, which means that every time you drink a soda or eat a sugary snack you are giving them fuel that they can use to further colonise your mouth. If you drink soda, switch to sugar-free alternatives. When snacking, try to stick to savoury snacks where possible.
5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental checkups are extremely important in the prevention of gum disease. Your dentist can identify the early signs of gum inflammation and give you advice and treatment to prevent the problem from getting worse. For example, they might prescribe a medicated mouth rinse that you can use every day to keep bacterial levels in check.