When you think about taking care of your smile, brushing and flossing your teeth are probably the first things that come to mind. However, there is much more that goes into keeping your mouth in order! Your gums play an integral role in your overall oral health and can be in bad shape even if you have the whitest, brightest smile around.
Have you ever heard of gum disease? If you have never had to deal with it, consider yourself lucky! Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup along and underneath your gum line. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and will cause your gums to become swollen and tender and sometimes even bleed. Luckily, this type of gum disease is easily treatable since it does not directly impact the bone connected to your teeth.
If you let gingivitis progress untreated, it can become periodontitis, which is a more severe form of gum disease. Periodontitis does impact the bone and tissue connected to your teeth, and if left untreated, can slowly destroy your teeth. Some signs you may have periodontal disease include but are not limited to a bad taste in your mouth, loose permanent teeth, swollen gums, tender, or bloody, and a receding gum line. Luckily, gum disease is easily preventable, and we are excited to share five simple ways in which you can keep your gums healthy!
- Make sure to floss! Flossing once or twice per day will help remove any tricky plaque buildup that your toothbrush is unable to get rid of. Since plaque is the main cause of gum disease, flossing is a must!
- Get your teeth cleaned regularly. Your dental hygienist can remove any tricky plaque and tartar formed on your teeth. Doing this every six months will keep your teeth much healthier than trying to take oral hygiene into your own hands only! In addition to this, your dentist can detect the early signs of gum disease and start a treatment plan before it turns into gingivitis or even periodontitis. If you already have gingivitis, regular hygiene appointments can help reverse its effects.
- Brush twice a day. Brushing after breakfast and dinner is the easiest thing you can do on your own to keep your smile healthy! Brushing will help remove plaque and bacteria, and flossing will do the rest! Also, make sure to brush your tongue, as it can carry bacteria as well. Electric toothbrushes are the best option to remove plaque more effectively than manual toothbrushes. Make sure you change out your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months.
- Use fluoride toothpaste. Almost every toothpaste brand will claim to reduce the risk of gingivitis. So how do you know which ones are the best? When you pick out your toothpaste, ensure it contains fluoride and has the American Dental Association seal of acceptance!
- Use therapeutic mouthwash. Almost any drugstore or pharmacy will carry it over-the-counter. This type of mouthwash can help reduce the speed tartar develops, reduce plaque, and even reduce gingivitis. Make sure you are also looking for the American Dental Association seal on any therapeutic mouthwash.
This may seem like a lot of information to take in, but we promise taking these simple steps will help prevent gum disease. If you’re not flossing daily or using mouthwash, now is the time to start! If you haven’t come in for your bi-yearly hygiene appointment in over six months, it is time to schedule. Call us today at (972) 349-1127 to make an appointment. Let’s work together to keep your gums healthy! Click here to read about sleep apnea.