Your breath could be better — way better — and you’ve got a bad taste in your mouth. On top of that, your gums are tender, swollen and red, and your teeth are appearing longer than normal.
You’ve got gum disease. But you’re not alone.
Research shows that chronic gum disease, or gingivitis, affects 90% of adults. The good news? It is totally reversible.
Seeing your dentist is the best course of action, but there are ways of preventing gum disease before it takes hold. Here is a rundown of nine top tips for preventing gum disease.
Let’s get started!
1. Brushing Helps with Preventing Gum Disease
The best way of preventing gum disease is to brush those pearly whites regularly.
Of course, you need to be doing it correctly to eliminate the disease-causing bacteria between your teeth and at your gum line without hurting your gums. Your dental hygienist can show you exactly how it’s done.
Be sure to brush after meals, especially in the morning and at night. And don’t neglect your tongue — it needs to be brushed, too. After all, bacteria love hiding there.
If possible, try to use a moving toothbrush — for example, an American Dental Association-endorsed electronic toothbrush. These types of toothbrushes can remove bacteria and plaque — the soft substance left behind on your teeth after you eat — more effectively than you can manually.
While you’re brushing, don’t forget to floss, too.
Flossing is the one thing that many people overlook because it’s “too hard” or “takes too long.” We understand. But you’ve got to get into the habit of doing it at least once daily to get rid of bacteria and plaque that your toothbrush simply cannot reach.
Again, your dental hygienist can show you the proper way to floss to make the process easier and more efficient for you.
3. Using Mouthwash
Brushing and flossing are certainly important, but so is swishing with mouthwash. Mouthwash is designed to reduce food particles and plaque that you missed when flossing and brushing.
The key, though, is using an anti-microbial mouthwash in particular after brushing. Also, avoid using one with alcohol in it, as alcohol dries out the mouth and thus may contribute to dental decay. The more saliva you have in your mouth, the healthier your mouth will be.
4. Going to the Dentist
You can’t prevent gum disease all on your own. It’s paramount that you visit the dentist for regular checkups, too. Here’s why.
Dentists know how to spot gum disease signs even for symptoms crop up. Your dentist can examine your bone structure, bite, gums, plaque level and teeth to see if you have problems that need to be addressed.
As with anything else, prevention is the best protection. The sooner your dentist identifies gum disease signs, the sooner you can tackle the problem before it becomes worse.
Also, note that genetics, diet, smoking and older age all boost your gum disease risk. If you’re at increased risk for this disease, don’t put off seeing your dentist. It’s just not worth the risk.
5. Eating More Vegetables and Fruits
Watching your diet isn’t just good for weight loss — it’s great for your chompers as well.
Eat a balanced diet that contains plenty of minerals and vitamins, as this will keep your gums healthy. You need healthy gums to support your pearly whites and keep the disease at bay.
Specifically, eat more vegetables and fruits. If you’re not a big veggie fanatic, just add them to soups, and for fruits, why not create your own delectable fruit smoothie? Your gums and teeth will love you for it.
Part of eating healthy is staying away from sugary snacks. After all, the bacteria responsible for gum disease love sugar just as much as you do. In fact, they thrive on it.
6. Eat More Meat
In all of your fruit-and-veggie eating, be sure to add meat to your plate, too.
Research shows that incorporating more chicken into your diet specifically can do your body a world of good. Looks like Chick-fil-A had it right.
7. Eat More Dairy
Dairy is another important addition to your daily diet — especially cheese and milk.
These dairy products, like meat, are believed to offer your teeth the phosphorus and calcium they need to remineralize enamel — the hard substance covering your teeth — once it’s been attacked by tooth decay-causing acids.
8. Chewing Sugar-Free Gum
Yes, chewing sugar-free gum is one of the best things you can do for your teeth!
Remember what we mentioned earlier about saliva being your mouth’s best friend? Gum keeps your mouth’s flow of saliva going after meals, which helps to clear away small food particles and keeps your oral environment healthy. So, chewing gum is an excellent dental habit.
You specifically want gum that has Xylitol in it. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that comes from plants. Unlike sugar, it does not break down, and it keeps your mouth’s pH at a neutral level.
9. Get Some Braces
Yes, you read that correctly.
Getting orthodontic treatment can protect your gums against disease, as crooked teeth can easily enable tooth decay. This tooth decay, in turn, can cause gum disease by letting plaque and bacteria colonize in areas where you have teeth that aren’t aligned.
When you straighten your teeth, you eliminate hideouts that your toothbrush can’t reach. And the bonus is that you get a more attractive smile in the process. You can’t beat that.
How We Can Help
We offer top-of-the-line dental care, including dental checkups and teeth cleanings.
As part of our comprehensive examination, we’ll not only clean your teeth but also examine them along with head, neck, and gums to make sure that they are in tip-top shape.
We’ll also complete an oral cancer screening, which further helps to protect you against gum disease.
Get in touch with us to find out more about preventing gum disease now or getting your gum disease treated if you are starting to see signs of it. We’ll give you a reason to smile with confidence long term.