About 47.2% of adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease. The prevalence of this condition increases with age, too. In fact, over 70% of adults ages 65 and up have periodontal disease.
Learning how to prevent gum disease can improve your oral and overall health. Otherwise, bacteria can spread through your bloodstream, increasing the risk of complications.
Read on to learn how to go about preventing gum disease to improve your oral health today.
What is Gum Disease?
Before we discuss gum disease prevention, it helps to learn more about this oral health condition as a whole. Then, you can spot signs gum disease is developing to ensure you seek professional treatment right away.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can cause gum inflammation. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, while periodontitis is a more serious infection.
If your gum disease progresses, it could increase the chances of tooth loss.
Usually, gum disease occurs due to an overgrowth of dental plaque. Plaque can develop when bacteria mingle with your saliva and food particles. You can reduce the risk of plaque development by brushing and flossing your teeth.
Certain factors can contribute to your risk of gum disease, including:
- Vitamin C deficiency
- Hormonal changes (during pregnancy or menopause)
- Exposure to bismuth
- Heavy metals like nickel
- Certain medications
If plaque extends below your gum line, you could develop a gum infection. Your gums might begin to separate from your teeth as a result. Your teeth could become loose or unstable, which might cause you to lose a tooth.
Let a dentist know if you experience symptoms of gingivitis, including:
- Tender, red, swollen gums
- Gums that pull away from your teeth
- Bleeding when you brush or floss
- Partial dentures no longer fitting
- Foul-smelling breath that doesn’t go away with brushing
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Malocclusion (a change in how your teeth fit together)
- Loose teeth
- Pain when chewing
Keep an eye on your gum and oral health. If you experience these symptoms, visit your local dentist right away. They’ll ensure you begin treatment before gingivitis can develop into periodontitis.
Tips for Prevention
Gum disease can increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. Learning how to prevent gingivitis can benefit your overall health long-term. Here are a few prevention tips you can use to keep your gums healthy.
1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene
The best way to improve your gum health to avoid disease is to practice good oral hygiene on a daily basis.
Remember, gum disease doesn’t occur overnight. Rather, it progresses over time due to plaque formation.
Plaque is a sticky layer of microbes that can cling to the surface of your teeth or between your teeth. It builds up over time if you neglect to brush and floss regularly. When left unattended, plaque can harden into tartar.
You’ll need to schedule a professional teeth cleaning to have tartar properly removed. Otherwise, your gums might become inflamed.
Before that can happen, make an effort to improve your oral health.
Start by brushing every morning and night. Use the proper technique to make sure you’re cleaning every tooth. Make sure to floss every night, too.
Flossing will remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth. Otherwise, these food particles can contribute to plaque and tartar formation.
If you neglect to remove plaque and tartar, they’ll irritate and inflame your gums, eventually leading to gum disease.
2. Improve Your Diet
Improving your diet can benefit your oral health long-term, too. It can also benefit the appearance of your smile.
Try adding more teeth-healthy foods to your diet, including:
- Apples and pears
- Leafy green vegetables
- Cheese, milk, and yogurt
- Fatty fish and lean proteins
- Celery and carrots
If you tend to drink a lot of coffee, tea, wine, or energy drinks, you might notice your teeth look discolored. Make sure to drink plenty of water after consuming these beverages. Water can help wash away any remnants of the foods or drinks you consume.
Saliva is your body’s best natural defense against plaque. When your body produces saliva, it’s able to wash away food particles and plaque that’s formed. Drinking water throughout the day can help your body produce more saliva.
Caffeine can also dehydrate your body. Drinking water will help you remain hydrated, benefiting your oral health.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking could increase your risk of gum disease as well. It also weakens the immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off infections.
If you’re smoking, consider quitting. Otherwise, you might find it’s more difficult for your body to heal after it’s sustained damage.
4. Update Your Tools
Talk to your dentist about the toothpaste you’re currently using. They might recommend you switch to a fluoride toothpaste instead. Fluoride can help prevent plaque formation while improving your smile.
Remember, minimizing plaque formation can help with preventing gum disease before it develops.
Otherwise, consider switching to a therapeutic mouthwash to prevent plaque and gingivitis.
5. Schedule Cleanings
One of the best ways to improve your oral health to prevent gingivitis is to visit your dentist.
Schedule an appointment with your local dentist every six months. Routine appointments and cleanings will improve your oral health. Your hygienist can clean away plaque and tartar to keep your gums clean and healthy.
Talk to them about gum disease care, too. You can learn more here: What is Gum Disease Care?
Routine cleanings will also help your dentist spot signs of gingivitis or other problems before they can develop further.
Visit Your Local Dentist to Learn More About Gum Disease Prevention
Don’t neglect your gum health this year. Instead, use these easy tips to prevent gum disease before it develops. With these tips, you can improve your oral health and overall health.
Remember, visiting a dentist can make all the difference! Schedule routine appointments to stop gingivitis in its tracks.
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