In previous blogs, we’ve explained how routine care helps prevent the onset of tooth decay, infections, and other serious oral health issues impacting your teeth. But what about your gums? Poor oral hygiene could mean the onset of gum disease, and with it, a higher risk of adult tooth loss. In today’s blog, your Livonia, MI, dentist, Dr. Stewart, talks about how to protect your gum health.
The Common Factors Behind Gingivitis and Gum Disease
How do our gums develop issues like gingivitis and periodontal disease? The problem starts with gum inflammation, also known as gingivitis. When inflammation develops, the gums begin to feel sore, look red, and may bleed easily. Over time, as the issue grows more severe, the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets. Bacteria then infiltrate these pockets and cause periodontal disease. There is no cure for periodontal disease, but care to manage the issue is crucial to avoid periodontitis, the advanced stage linked to adult tooth loss. Common factors behind inflammation include smoking and tobacco use, inflammatory illnesses, certain medications, a family history of poor gum health, and poor oral hygiene.
The Benefits of Brushing and Flossing
Poor oral hygiene allows food to stay stuck between teeth. Bacteria then break down the particles, creating plaque to coat the teeth and inflame periodontal tissues. To help limit plaque until we can perform a thorough cleaning again, we suggest brushing your teeth twice a day for about two minutes each session. You should use a toothbrush with soft bristles to prevent gum recession if you brush too hard, and use a fluoride toothpaste, which strengthens outer enamel. Even more important, you need to floss every night before bed. Floss removes what a toothbrush alone cannot reach, and helps prevent inflammation.
Watching What You Eat and Drink
You also need to be aware of what you eat and drink. Foods high in sugar and starch, and beverages with a high sugar content, leave behind particles for bacteria to consume. Instead, drink more water, which hydrates and cleanses the smile, and eat healthier options, like fruits, veggies, nuts, cheeses, and whole grain items. You not only prevent help prevent periodontal issues but also lower your risk of problems like tooth decay, teeth stains, and bad breath. If you have any questions about safeguarding your gums against inflammation and disease, then contact our team today.
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT PERIODONTAL DISEASE?
If you find yourself faced with a dental emergency, then please let us know so we can offer treatment. For more information on improving gum health, or to schedule a consultation, call the office of James Stewart, DDS in Livonia, MI, today at (734) 425-4400.