When it comes to oral health, a lot of people are only doing half the work that they need to, and it tends to start with your gums. Half of the U.S. population over 30 has some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, and it’s a problem here in Canada as well. The bad news is that if left unchecked, unhealthy gums can be painful and potentially even lead to loose or lost teeth if the gums recede. The good news is that it’s very possible to keep your gums healthy with basic oral health practices.
Where gum trouble starts is when plaque starts to build up along the gumline as opposed to on the surface of the teeth. The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis, where the presence of this bacteria along the gums causes symptoms like redness, tenderness, or bleeding when you brush your teeth. This can be reversed, though, unlike periodontitis, which is the stage where the bones and fiber supporting your teeth start to be impacted.
Along with what we mentioned before, other symptoms of gum disease include prolonged bad breath, gums that start to pull away from the teeth, or pain when chewing. Factors like smoking, diabetes, or taking certain medications may lead to increased gum disease risk.
So, now that you know the stakes, what can you do to take care of your gums? One good thing to do is make sure you don’t neglect them during your brushing and flossing. Flossing in particular is useful because it catches those particles that your toothbrush can’t reach. Bacteria that leads to plaque and gingivitis can also grow on your tongue, so make sure that your brush your tongue as well or use a scraper if possible. You also want to be careful with where you store your toothbrush. Covering it or putting it in a closed container may lead to microorganism growth.
Along with making sure to brush your gums and tongue while flossing thoroughly, you don’t really need to do anything else unique besides taking care of your teeth as normal. Try to minimize sugary foods and make sure to meet with your dentist.
Gum health is one of the most commonly neglected parts of oral health, which is why you want your dentist to check on them. Be sure to regularly visit the dentists at Pickering Square Dental to keep your teeth clean and stay on top of other oral health issues.