Most people are obsessed with how clean, white and straight their teeth should be, forgetting to pay attention to the status of their gums. You can never have a bright smile if you are suffering from gum disease.
Taking care of your gums basically means maintaining a proper oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly to check for any symptoms of gum disease.
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums which affects the surrounding bone that supports your teeth. It’s normally caused by neglecting proper oral hygiene.
Signs that your gums are unhealthy
- They are swollen, painful and tender to the touch
- They bleed easily during brushing and eating
- They are receding
- They are bright red in color
- You have persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
Gum disease is preventable and to keep your gums healthy, you should;
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
This is very important as it helps to remove any food particles and plaque that may be trapped between your teeth and gums. Ensure that you also scrub your tongue to get rid of any bacteria that might have accumulated.
For your toothbrush, ensure that it has soft, nylon bristles and fits your mouth comfortably. Brush gently in circular motions as brushing too hard can irritate and injure your gums, making them prone to infections.
Investing in a battery powered or electric toothbrush to helps to reduce the risk of plaque and gingivitis as compared to manual brushing. Remember to replace your toothbrush every three to four months or as soon as the bristles begin to fray.
- Floss regularly
This is removing food and plaque stuck between your teeth in points beyond your toothbrush’s reach. It can be done once or twice a day by gently working the floss in a sawing motion up the side of one tooth then down the other.
- Quit smoking
People who smoke are at a higher risk of contracting gum disease. This is because tobacco weakens your immune system thus making it hard for your body to fight off gum infections. During smoking, sticky tobacco residues are deposited on your teeth and they create a perfect environment for bacteria and plaque buildup.
In case you have already contracted gum disease, smoking slows down the healing process.
- Use Toothpaste that contains fluoride
With so many kinds of toothpastes in the market promising a myriad of benefits from whitening, freshening and even preventing gingivitis, it may be a bit difficult to know which one is the best for healthy gums. However, ensure whichever toothpaste that you choose regardless of the brand, contains fluoride. Fluoride helps to strengthen exposed roots and prevent tooth decay.
- Visit your dentist regularly for cleaning
Clean teeth and healthy gums cannot be achieved by just brushing, gaggling or flossing. You need to get regular professional teeth cleaning to remove tartar and keep gum diseases such as gingivitis away. Your dentist should be able to offer these services.
During the visit, your dentist is also able to identify any symptoms of gum disease and therefore treating it before it becomes serious.
- Use a Mouthwash
Gargling with a therapeutic mouthwash more often helps in freshening your breath in addition to reducing plaque which could cause gum disease and slowing down tartar buildup. However, a mouthwash should be used after thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth and should never act as a substitute for either.
If you are recovering from gum disease, your dentist is likely to prescribe a specific mouthwash.
You can only attain a healthy smile by incorporating a proper oral hygiene regimen. If you adopt the habits highlighted above, your will have a brighter smile, your gums should stay healthy throughout your life and you’ll reduce the time and money spent at your dentist significantly.