Healthy Gums: The Base For A Healthy Smile
When it comes to your oral health, taking care of your gums is just as important as keeping your smile bright. After all, healthy teeth need healthy gums. Fortunately, preventing and treating gum disease is fairly easy.
Brush & Floss
You’ve heard it before, but we’re here to tell you again: Don’t forget to brush and floss! Flossing at least once a day helps to remove food particles and plaque buildup that your toothbrush can’t quite reach. Regular brushing and flossing also helps to remove bacteria that can cause problems for your gums. Keep in mind that using a fluoridated toothpaste is your best option. You may want to also consider switching to an electric toothbrush, as these often do a better job of evicting bacteria from the crevices of your teeth, which directly affects your gums. Bring this all together, and you’ve got a better chance of avoiding gingivitis and keeping your gums healthy.
Give Mouthwash A Try
If you want to take an extra step in keeping your gums and teeth healthy, opt for a therapeutic mouthwash. Rinsing with mouthwash is not a replacement for brushing and flossing. However, adding a mouthwash to your oral care routine is a great way to reduce plaque, prevent gingivitis and even slow the speed at which tartar develops.
What you eat affects your teeth and gums. That being said, it’s important to know which foods to incorporate into your diet and which you would do best to avoid. Gum-healthy foods include high-fiber fruits and vegetables, as they can actually help to clean out your mouth. Dairy products can help increase saliva production, which aids in flushing out bacteria. Black and green teas are rich in polyphenols and offer a great bacteria-reducing drink option. Make sure to also drink plenty of water, especially if it’s fluoridated.
When it comes to “bad” foods, it really comes down to enjoying them in moderation. This includes sticky candies and sweets that can stay in your teeth and give bacteria a place to thrive. Acidic foods such as citrus and tomatoes can irritate your gums. However, you can pair these fruits with acidic-neutralizing foods such as cheese, lentils or nuts to cut down on the effects of the acid. Avoid sugary carbonated soft drinks that contain phosphoric and citric acids. Alcohol is not great for your oral health, either, as it dries out your mouth, thus reducing bacteria-flushing saliva.
In addition to any number of other negative effects, smoking is strongly associated with the onset of gum disease. The CDC reports research has found that smokers have twice the risk of gum disease that nonsmokers have. In fact, tobacco use of any sort (pipes, cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, etc.) raises one’s risk of gum disease. According to the CDC, smoking weakens the immune system and makes you more susceptible to illness, including gum disease. Not to mention, smoking makes it much more difficult for your gums to recover and heal once they’ve been damaged.
Signs of unhealthy gums
Even though most gum disease starts with mild symptoms, it can progress over time. It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of gum disease so you can treat it sooner rather than later. Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease, and is caused by a buildup of bacteria (or plaque) around your gum line. Some symptoms to look out for include swollen and tender gums, bleeding when flossing or brushing, a change in gum color from pink to red, and a persistent bad taste in your mouth. If you notice any of these signs, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. It’s imperative that you treat gingivitis early. If left untreated, a mild case of gingivitis could develop into periodontitis. This is a much more serious issue because plaque and tartar spread beneath the gumline and irritate gums, causing the body to destroy tissue and bone needed to support the teeth.
Stay On Top Of Your Gum Health
When it comes to maintaining good gum health, it’s best to get ahead of gum disease and get regular cleanings to support your daily oral care routine. If you do encounter any worrisome symptoms, schedule an appointment with your dentist to take care of any issues and prevent gum disease from developing. Magnolia Dental’s team of dentists is here to assist with any symptoms you may be experiencing. Whether you need a cleaning or have more serious issues, Magnolia Dental is here to help.
Don’t wait to get your gums checked out. Schedule your dental cleaning appointment with Magnolia Dental below!