When it comes to overall oral health, it’s not all about having clean teeth. Your gums are just as important! While you might brush your teeth twice a day, there are steps you can take to ensure that your gums are healthy and avoid gum disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Usually painless, gum disease often goes unnoticed. It is caused by a buildup of plaque on your teeth around your gum line and if left untreated, can progress over time. Some signs of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Constant bad breath or bad taste
- Gums that bleed easily
- Loose or separating permanent teeth
If you feel like you might be developing gum disease, it is best to talk to a professional dentist — the sooner they diagnose it and are able to treat it, the better.
If you’re not experiencing any of those symptoms, good! Here are ways that you can work to prevent gum disease from happening in the first place and improve your overall oral health.
Brushing and Flossing Habits
You’ve probably heard it a million times, but the way that you brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis is important to keeping your gums healthy. There are a few different ways to flossand all will help to remove the plaque and food that your toothbrush just can’t reach.
Avoid Harmful Products
Besides regularly brushing and flossing, there are products to try to stay away from because of the potential damage they can cause to your teeth and gums. It might not always be possible, but being conscious about what you’re putting into your mouth can save you down the road.
Some surprising foods that are bad for your gums are:
- White flour products – the simple carbohydrates found in white bread, crackers, and chips dissolve in your mouth and become simple sugars that mouth germs love
- Ice cream – in addition to the high amounts of sugar, the cold temperatures can irritate the gums
Although they can be enjoyable, too much of these drinks can cause damage to your gums:
- Sports drinks – the high acid and sugar content works to erode gums and promote tooth decay
- Carbonated drinks – these enable the plaque in your mouth to produce more acid which attacks your gums and tooth enamel
It is well known that tobacco products aren’t good for you, but all of them have especially negative consequences for your mouth.
- Smoking – weakens your immune system, making it harder to fight off a gum infection or to heal from gum damage
- Chewing tobacco – leads to higher chances of oral cancers and gum irritation
Keeping good dental hygiene habits is crucial to keeping your mouth healthy in between dentist appointments. Brushing, flossing, and frequent dental checkups can help ensure that your gums and teeth are healthy for years to come. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your gum health, give Tree City Family Dental a call!