Tips for Preventing Gum Disease

brushing-2Gums are like the unsung heroes of your oral hygiene. Everyone concentrates so much on cleaning their teeth and keeping them white that they forget the important role their gums play. Unfortunately, you’ll appreciate just how essential they are if you contract gum disease. So follow the advice above, as well as seek out other
oral health information, to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Gum Disease

First, let’s consider what gum disease actually is. Most people know it by the name “gingivitis.” The tissues that surround and support your teeth, the gums, can become inflamed. When this happens, they generally get swollen and turn red. Often people realize they have it when brushing and flossing causes their gums to bleed.

Despite somewhat similar symptoms, gum disease is not periodontal disease. The latter refers to inflammation or infection of the bones that exist below the teeth, hidden by the gums.

What Causes Gingivitis?

brushingGum disease is almost always the result of poor oral hygiene. When you don’t take proper care of your mouth, it’s only a matter of time before bacteria and plaque find their way in and begin causing problems. However, there are other factors that can ramp up your rate of risk, too.

Consider the following habits you may currently be practicing that put your gums at serious risk:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco which negatively affect your gums
  • Chronic stress, which weakens your immune system and makes it easier for bacteria to attack
  • Eating poorly, especially diets high in carbohydrates and sugar which bacteria love to feed from
  • Not getting enough water, which will dry out your mouth and make a hospitable environment for bacteria
  • Diets that lack nutrients, especially vitamin C, which aid in healing
  • Certain medications, like those prescribed for seizures, can inadvertently support gingivitis.

There are other contributing factors you may not have control over, as well. If you have teeth that overlap, are crooked or have otherwise rotated, plaque will have an easy time hiding out from your brushing.

Hormonal changes brought about by menopause, pregnancy and puberty can all trigger a risk of gingivitis. The rise in hormones makes your gums more vulnerable to bacteria.

Preventing Gum Disease

Bathroom routineSo the first step in preventing gum disease is simply addressing any of the above if you recognize it in yourself. Even hormonal problems or issues with your teeth can be managed if you see a professional.

However, everyone should be seeing their dentist regularly. They’ll be able to recognize the signs of gum disease long before any damage is done and help you take preventative measures.

There are a number of habits you can pursue every day that will help, too. Start flossing  and use the actual thing. While the modern “pick” options are great throughout the day, only real floss can get down and around the entire tooth and clean out trouble. Also, use an antiseptic, anti-plaque and/or fluoride mouthwash whenever you brush, too.

Preventing gum disease starts with getting rid of any risky behavior or habits you may currently be practicing. Replace those with healthy ones like flossing and mouthwash and you’ll be better off.