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4 Daily Tips from Your Dentist to Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease is an infection in the tissues that surround your teeth. Gum disease is generally caused by a buildup of plaque, which leads to gums becoming inflamed and irritated. The early stage of gum disease is referred to as gingivitis, which is fortunately reversible and can be eliminated by a professional cleaning and strong oral health practices at home. More advanced gum disease is called periodontitis and can lead to the tissues and bones that support your teeth beginning to break down. Additionally, research has shown that there may be a link between gum disease and other health concerns such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke, among others.
There are many steps you can take to prevent gum disease, but the following are four tips that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine.
Brush twice daily
This one may seem obvious, but brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is vital to preventing gum disease. Some dentists recommend switching to an electric toothbrush, particularly one with a timer, to ensure that you are brushing effectively. Also, do not forget to brush your tongue! Bacteria love to hide in the tiny nooks and crannies of your tongue, so use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to fight those pesky bacteria.
Daily flossing is equally as important in preventing gum disease as brushing. Flossing helps to remove the food and plaque that is between your teeth and along your gum line, areas that are beyond the reach of your toothbrush.
Eat a balanced diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet may not seem to be linked to healthy gums, but you would be surprised by the impact! It is important to get a variety of vitamins and minerals to help keep your gum tissue healthy. You should also limit your daily sugar consumption, as oral bacteria are known to thrive on sugar. A good rule of thumb when choosing a balanced diet is to eat the rainbow! Incorporating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables can help you get the nutrients needed to keep your gums healthy.
Avoid tobacco use
Research has shown that tobacco use is one of the biggest contributors to gum disease. There are several reasons for this. The chemicals contained in smoking or chewing tobacco reduce the amount of blood flow to your gums, which hinders healing. Additionally, the use of tobacco weakens your body’s immune system, making it harder to fight off a gum infection. Studies have also found that users of tobacco are less likely to respond to medical or surgical treatment.
The bottom line
Prevention is the best way to avoid gum disease, so caring for your teeth and gums should be a top priority. Not only will these simple daily tips help you keep a healthy and beautiful smile, but they can also help you avoid more serious conditions that have been associated with gum disease. Regularly visiting a dentist for examination and professional cleaning is another important step to prevent gum disease.
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