According the the CDC, an estimated 64.7 million American Adults have mild, moderate, or severe periodontitis, otherwise known as gum disease. Common symptoms include red, swollen or tender gums, bleeding while flossing, persistent bad breath, or loose teeth. If you suspect you have gum disease, you should schedule a dentist appointment as soon as possible. Not only can it drastically affect your oral health, it can affect the rest of your body, as well.
Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue due to a buildup of plaque. If left untreated, some research suggests that advanced gum disease can increase your risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and stroke. To keep your mouth and your body healthy, you’ll need to take care of your gums. Here’s our list of 4 secrets to healthy gums.
Consistent Oral Hygiene
For tooth and gums alike, nothing is more important than a consistent oral hygiene routine. Both cavities and gum disease are the result of plaque buildup. Dental plaque is a biofilm or a mass of bacteria that can become tooth-eating tartar in a fairly short time-frame, about 12-24 hours. That’s why maintaining a consistent routine is so important. The American Dental Association suggests brushing your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed, with fluoride toothpaste. This can prevent plaque from becoming tartar and damaging your teeth.
Don’t Skip Flossing
Although brushing is key to proper oral hygiene, so is flossing. Your toothbrush can’t do all the work, especially in those hard to reach places between your teeth. That’s why flossing at least once a day, right before bed, is incredibly important to gum health. Flossing correctly, however, can also be hard. Start with approximately 15-24 inches of floss wrapped around your fingers, and insert gently between each tooth. When flossing, make sure to dip below the gum line frequently.
Diet is Important
Gum disease and cavities are caused by a particularly group of bacteria which feed on simple starch and sugar. Cutting sugar and starch out of your diet can go a long way in protecting your gums. Since sugar isn’t so great for our body or heart, you’ll be protecting that, as well. The American Heart Association suggests consuming less than 30g of sugar a day. Just for perspective, a grande Vanilla Latte from Starbucks contains about 35g of sugar. Even many fruits and vegetables contain natural sugars, although this is better than foods and drinks with added sugar.
Regularly Scheduled Check-ups
There’s a good reason to continue your regularly scheduled dental appointments about every six months. Gum disease and most oral health complications don’t occur overnight, and, if caught early enough, they can be much easier to treat. Seeing your dentist regularly can ensure that any gum disease you may have doesn’t progress to a point where treatment becomes costly and painful. Mild or moderate gum disease can be treated with a deep tissue cleaning, whereas more advanced issued may require surgery.
If you are looking for an experienced dentist in the Butler area to treat your gum disease, please call (724) 282-4436 today for an appointment at Advanced Dentistry of Butler.