Oral hygiene techniques you need for a lifetime of smiles
Most people take their gums for granted until a problem develops. Your gums can reveal a lot about your oral health, and also the overall health of your body. Paying attention to your gums can signal when a problem starts and may also indicate a change in your general health – because it can affect it.
When you have healthy gums, they will look pink and be in good shape. They also have several jobs to do which you may not be aware of. For one thing, they help hold your teeth in place. They also are formed up close to your teeth. This helps to keep the many different kinds of bacteria in your mouth – in your mouth. When your gums recede, some of the harmful bacteria will get into your bloodstream and can cause serious health problems over time.
When your gums look red or inflamed, they are no longer healthy. At the same time, you will also likely have bleeding gums, which is a symptom of gum disease. These two symptoms indicate that you have early-stage gum disease called gingivitis. At this stage, there is very little damage occurring, and you can rather easily get rid of the gum disease by brushing twice a day and flossing.
Gum disease starts out as a gum infection that is usually caused by a lack of oral care. Without an improvement in personal oral care, it will progress to become periodontitis. This is a much more serious problem.
As your gums become increasingly irritated by the bacteria and acid it produces, your immune system starts an autoimmune reaction. It now attacks your gums, the support structures for your teeth, and your jawbone, slowly eroding them away. This means that your teeth will become loose if not treated, and some may even fall out.
The bacteria will also get access to your bloodstream through your gums. This enables it to trigger immune reactions in your bloodstream and organs, causing buildups. These buildups are known to cause all kinds of diseases including, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, several forms of cancer, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, and many more.
Keep Your Gums Healthy
Since so much of your future health depends on the health of your gums, you want to keep them healthy for as long as possible. You can do this by:
- Brushing and Flossing Daily
Brushing your teeth twice every day and flossing is the first habit you need to develop to protect your gums and teeth. You should brush for least two minutes each time to ensure removing as much plaque as possible. Flossing helps to remove the plaque and acid from between your teeth.
- Quit Smoking
Using tobacco of any kind will weaken your immune system and promote gum disease. It will also reduce the flow of blood in your gums, causing them to receive less oxygen and fewer of the vitamins and minerals your gums need for their health. When gum treatment is given, smoking will slow the healing process.
- Use Mouthwash
Get a mouthwash that will help fight plaque and reduce gingivitis. This will help to control the harmful bacteria in your mouth, and it will also help wash away the bacteria, food particles, and acid from your teeth.
- Reduce Sugar Consumption
The harmful bacterium in your mouth that produces acid always feeds on sugar. It is the acid that causes cavities and gum disease. Eating less sugar will help protect your gums. Sugar comes in many foods, including sweet snacks, sodas, fruit juices, specialty coffees, and more. Although you do not need to stop all sugar consumption, you can help remove it from your mouth by swishing water around your mouth after eating it.
- Eat a Healthy Diet
Making sure that you get the right amount of fruit and vegetables in your diet is very important to your gum health. It will strengthen your immune system to help it fight off gum disease and it will also strengthen your teeth.
- Drink Water
Your saliva plays a very important part in protecting your teeth and gums. When you have enough, it helps wash away the bacteria and acid from your teeth through the day and night. A lack of saliva means that the bacteria multiply faster and produces more acid on your teeth and gums. It also means that there will be more damage to your teeth and gums in less time.
- Get Regular Dental Cleanings
Going to a dentist regularly can help you ensure that your teeth and gums stay in good health. When dental or gum problems do occur, the dentist can provide treatment to ensure treatment is provided quickly.
For more serious periodontitis, a periodontist can help you get the treatment you need. This may include both non-surgical and surgical treatments, such as scaling and root planing, gum and bone grafting, and possibly tooth replacement.
Keeping your gums and teeth healthy involves more than just avoiding sugary drinks or flavored water. Regular dental care and teeth cleaning can enable a dentist to spot cavities when they start and be treated quickly. If you have cavities or gum disease – gingivitis or periodontitis, Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist, can help you. He provides dental services for the whole family and can help each one keep their smile. His offices are in the Carrollton, Cedar hill, Mocking bird/SMU, and Grapevine, TX areas and most dental insurance plans are accepted