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10 Ways to Prevent Gum Disease

How to avoid getting gum disease with these good oral and nutritional habits

Gum disease occurs when bacteria below the gum grows around your mouth. The toxins produced by the bacteria cause your gums to pull away from your healthy teeth. As a result, the roots become weak and the teeth have a higher chance of falling out.

Initial symptoms of gingivitis (first stage of gum disease) may include:

  • redness,
  • irritated,
  • swollen,
  • or bleeding gums.

You may also notice more exposure of teeth since your gums are diminishing. However, most people tend to overlook these warning signs, which causes the disease to progress further and lead to a more severe case of gum disease known as periodontitis. When this happens, a dental implant is already necessary.

Learn how to prevent gum disease
Gingivitis is only the first stage of a serious gum disease, so by taking certain steps in
practicing good oral hygiene and healthy nutritional habits, you can prevent this from happening.

To prevent the need for dental implants, you must practice healthy dental habits. Below is a list of tips you can practice to avoid having gum disease.

1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Proper dental habits are essential in keeping healthy teeth and gums. To practice good oral hygiene, you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Healthy oral practices can help prevent the occurrence of dental problems such as gum disease. It is advised to allocate three to five minutes of your time twice or thrice each day for good oral hygiene.

There is also a brushing technique that you might want to try to prevent gingivitis. Usually, the plaque-catching area is neglected when you brush your teeth. This area is where gingivitis commonly starts. According to dentists, you can place your brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. This will allow half of your brush to clean your teeth while the other half cleans your gums. Afterward, you can move your brush in a forward and backward motion.

2. Use a Flouride Toothpaste

Fluoride is helpful when it comes to strengthening your tooth enamel to fight tooth decay. When you’re buying dental products, make sure that your toothpaste contains fluoride.

The same thing goes for dental products for children. Nowadays, manufacturers are finding ways to make brushing a fun experience for kids. Children are encouraged to brush their teeth by incorporating their favorite cartoon character in their toothbrush. You can also buy flavored toothpaste for kids; however, in doing so, it is best to scout for the ones that contain fluoride.

3. Floss Daily

It is not enough to just brush your teeth. You also need to floss. This is because flossing can reach the crevices that are too small for the brush bristles, making it a necessary step in cleaning your mouth. Plaque forms in the small areas between teeth around the gum line, which commonly leads to tooth decay and gum disease.

4. Use Mouthwash

To further boost your dental habits, you can gargle with an antibacterial mouthwash. While brushing and flossing are still the best ways to prevent dental health problems such as gingivitis, adding mouthwash into the equation will make your oral hygiene a success. It is a useful way to combat tooth decay and gingivitis while helping promote healthy teeth and gums.

Aside from these, mouthwash can also help freshen your breath, prevent plaque from building up, remove any loose particles, and prevent cavities from forming.

5. Clean Your Tongue

The tongue is often neglected too despite the fact that it harbors bacteria as well. This is why it is important to clean your tongue properly. You can get rid of the bacteria and toxins hiding in your tongue by scraping it. Just make sure the tongue cleaner you use to scrape your tongue isn’t sharp.

Dentists recommend the use of a tongue depressor or your toothbrush. But, you also have the option to buy an especially designed tongue scraper. To effectively clean your tongue, you need to scrape it from back to front for at least 10 to 15 times.

6. Avoid Food Rich with Sugar and Starch

Starchy and sugary foods cause a mouth reaction that leads to tooth decay. There are five surprising foods that you need to avoid because they may cause gum disease:

Ice Cream

In general, foods that contain added sugars, such as ice cream, harm gums because sugar binds to the gum, which triggers the release of eroding acids.

Tomatoes

Just as sugary foods present danger to your gums, highly acidic foods are gum offenders as well. While tomatoes are rich in lycopene, it is also highly acidic. Consuming highly acidic foods is like bathing your gums and healthy teeth in acid. This may cause weary gums and promote tooth decay. When eating this juicy fruit, try to consume other acid-neutralizing foods such as lean beef or chicken, tuna, mozzarella, lentils, or nuts.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes are rich in acids and contain high natural fruit sugar, which can cause damage to teeth and gums.

There are other non-acidic ways by which you can get Vitamin C like supplements or vegetables high in Vitamin C but low in acids such as asparagus, broccoli, and peas. You can also consume low-acid fruits such as honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and kiwi, which are also higher in Vitamin C as compared to oranges.

White Bread

White bread and other foods that are rich in starches are not gum-friendly. This may come as a surprise, but crackers, bread, and chips can be as damaging to your gums as candy. Starches are simple carbohydrates that stick around your mouth and dissolve into a simple type of sugar that germs thrive on, which leads to acid-producing tooth decay.

Sports Drinks

Not only are sports drinks high in sugar, they also contain high acid, which can promote tooth decay and erode gums. A 2012 study reveals teeth and gums are attacked by acids found in sports drinks after five consecutive days of being exposed to them. If you are to consume sports drinks, check the label first and look for brands that have the lowest added sugars or drink water instead.

7. Keep a Healthy Lifestyle

Too much stress or exposure to toxic chemicals may also adversely affect your gums. Examine your lifestyle and see what changes you can do with it to live more healthily.

8. Avoid Vices

Vices such as smoking and drinking can drain your body of minerals and vitamins that are essential for your teeth and gums. Smoking reduces the circulation that helps keep your gums healthy, and it is also known as a primary contributing factor to gum disease.

9. Take Vitamin C

While Vitamin C cannot cure gingivitis, it can be helpful in checking bleeding gums. The National Institute of Health advises taking a daily dose of 100 to 200 milligrams.

10. Visit Your Dentist

It is important to visit your dentist for a check-up and cleaning twice a year. Never assume that you do not need a visit to the dentist just because your teeth look healthy. Dentists have the expertise to see signs and symptoms of dental issues you may not be able to see. Also, dental cleaning can remove tartar build-up that is impossible at home.

Conclusion

If you notice symptoms of gum disease such as swollen or bleeding gums, do not ignore the warning signs. Visit your dentist immediately so that your condition can be assessed properly and be given the appropriate treatment. Practicing good dental habits is essential for your overall wellness. Smile more confidently and live a healthier, happier life.

Savannah Wiegand

Author Bio:

Savannah Wiegand is a content writer for Orthofill. With her expertise, she understands the essence and importance of such.

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