The gums provide protection and support for the roots of the teeth. They also serve as anchors for the tongue and lips and contain important vessels that carry blood to the teeth. Periodontal disease is a serious gum infection that develops as a result of inflammation or infection in the gums or the bones that support and surround the teeth.
Gum disease does not just affect your oral health but can impact your entire body. According to Harvard Medical School, individuals with gum disease are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, dementia, and pregnancy complications.
The key to maintaining healthy gums and overall health is reducing inflammation and preventing infection. Perform the following tips to ward off periodontal disease.
1. Practice Effective Teeth Brushing
While everyone knows the importance of brushing at least twice a day, few engage in effective brushing. Effective brushing helps adequately remove food debris and plaque buildup. In addition, proper brushing helps stimulate gum recovery. Spend a full two minutes brushing with approximately 30 seconds dedicated to each quadrant of the mouth. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to allow sufficient cleaning along the gum line.
2. Upgrade to an Electric Toothbrush
If you’re still brushing with a manual toothbrush, consider a more effective way to maintain your gum health. Electric toothbrushes offer advanced plaque removal capabilities, as well as effective rotating, oscillating, and/or pulsating technology that helps achieve a deep clean. Many electric toothbrushes also offer additional features, such as built-in timers that keep track of brushing time.
3. Use Fluoride Dental Toothpaste
Walk down the dental care aisle at any drugstore and you’ll find dozens of different toothpaste options. When choosing toothpaste, opt for a product with fluoride to prevent tooth decay and maintain gum health. You also want to look for a toothpaste that has earned the American Dental Association seal of approval. This seal indicates that the toothpaste contains fluoride, has no sugar in its flavoring agents, contains active ingredients to improve dental health, and has demonstrated safety and efficacy.
4. Stay Hydrated with Water Throughout the Day
Many people do not drink enough water. Hydration is essential for proper saliva flow, which is needed to maintain balanced bacterial growth and a healthy mouth. Food particles in the mouth are moved by salvia, and when the mouth is dry, food debris is more likely to get stuck between teeth. Saliva also helps reduce acidity in the mouth which reduces damage to teeth and gums.
5. Choose Gum-Friendly Foods
The foods you eat can have a direct impact on the health of your gums. Sugary foods and soft drinks can contribute to a harmful environment in which bacteria thrive. In addition, unhealthy snacks like potato chips can stick to the teeth and lead to plaque buildup. Make the switch to gum-friendly foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and calcium-rich foods and dairy products. If you do indulge in something sweet, rinse your mouth with water afterward.
6. Rinse Away Bacteria with Oral Mouthwash
If you are not already using mouthwash during your oral care routine, consider adding it. Rinsing the mouth with mouthwash after brushing and flossing helps wash away any lingering debris and eliminates harmful bacteria in the mouth. Avoid the use of alcohol mouthwashes as these can be drying to the oral tissues. Speak with your Melbourne FL dentist about what type of mouthwash is best suited for you.
Treating Periodontal Disease
If you have recently been diagnosed with oral periodontal disease, consult with your Melbourne Florida dentist about oral treatment options.
At Artistic Touch Dentistry, we help patients eliminate periodontal disease with personalized treatments that may include prescribed antibiotic medications to clear infections, antibiotic gel added to the pockets of the gums after scaling and root planing, and/or antibacterial mouth rinse to reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth. In some cases, periodontal surgery may be required to promote healing of the gums and jawbone.