Did you know that, in the United States, a shocking 75 percent of people over the age of 35 have some form of gum disease? This harmful condition not only causes big problems for your oral health, but it can also lead to complications with pregnancy, heart disease, respiratory illness, and more! Luckily, gum disease is also highly preventable. Just take these five steps to ensure your gums remain in good condition.
Step 1. Brush your teeth regularly and thoroughly.
One of the best things you can do for your gum health is to have a solid daily dental hygiene routine. When food particles and residue are left on your teeth for too long, the bacteria in plaque feed on it to sustain. In turn, they release harmful acids that damage your dental enamel and irritate your gums. This leads to an infection known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease and, if left untreated, can cause serious problems for your oral health. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day allows you to remove the harmful food residue and prevent this process from occurring. You should also consider brushing after every time you eat, as this will remove the plaque before it can begin releasing acids on your teeth.
Step 2. Floss every day — really!
We know flossing isn’t everyone’s favorite task, but it really does do a great deal to improve your oral health! Flossing removes the bacteria colonies that are hiding in those hard-to-reach places of your mouth that can lead to serious gum issues. And if you ever notice that your gums bleed when you floss, be sure to visit your dentist at Meadows Dental Care straight away. While some mistake light bleeding to mean they’re flossing too hard, it actually is usually the first sign of gingivitis. By flossing regularly, you can ensure that your gums remain in good condition for years to come.
Step 3. Quit smoking.
Did you know that smokers are twice as likely to get gum disease as nonsmokers? In fact, your level of risk for gum disease is actually directly correlated with the amount you smoke, and quitting significantly decreases your chances of getting the disease. Also, if you do get gum disease, it is significantly more difficult to treat if you use tobacco products, as your immune system is depleted from the habit. Therefore, if you would like to actively reduce your risk of getting periodontitis, we strongly recommend that you kick the habit as soon as possible.
Step 4. Take your vitamins.
If you would like to do more to prevent gum disease, be sure that you’re getting your daily vitamins! According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those who have higher levels of vitamin D were actually 20 percent less likely to have gingivitis—the earliest stage of gum disease—due to its anti-inflammatory qualities. Calcium is also great for your gum health, as it strengthens your jaw bone. Finally, you should also try to get your vitamin C, as this helps you to prevent bleeding gums.
Step 5. Schedule your next dentist appointment.
According to the American Dental Association, it is highly recommended that you visit your dentist every six months. During these regular check-ups, your dentist will check the firmness and color of your gums and measure the space between your teeth and gums to ensure that you have no early symptoms of gum disease. By regularly checking for gum disease, you can be sure to catch any illnesses early, and stop gum disease before it can do any serious damage. We will also provide a thorough professional cleaning and remove tartar buildup to prevent infection and keep your mouth in great health.
To schedule your regular dental check-up and prevent periodontal disease, call Meadows Dental Care today!