Gum Health: Why It Matters and How to Achieve It
Did you know that according to the CDC, almost half of adults over 30 have some form of gum disease?
When caring for our teeth and gums, most people tend to focus on the former. However, our gums are crucial in oral and general health. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is common and can affect anyone – which is why it’s critical to remain cognizant of your gum health habits.
At Asprakis & Danti Dentistry, we believe in maintaining gum health. During your next appointment at our dental office in Windsor, OR, your dentist will check in on your gums and provide personalized tips. In the meantime, please review our latest post to ensure you’re on top of preventing gum disease.
Understanding Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and other supporting structures of the teeth. There are three stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It is caused by the bacteria in plaque buildup. When plaque accumulates on teeth, it can irritate the gums, causing them to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. Fortunately, gingivitis is reversible with proper treatment and good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing.
What Happens if Gingivitis Is Left Untreated?
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. During this stage, the supporting structures around the teeth, including the bone, begin to break down. Pockets form between the teeth and gums, allowing bacteria to penetrate deeper. If not addressed promptly, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
How Can Periodontal Disease Affect My Overall Health?
In addition to tooth loss, there is a connection between periodontal disease and other systemic health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Studies have shown that the bacteria associated with periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and contribute to inflammation in other parts of the body.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
The simplest way to prevent periodontal disease is by practicing good oral hygiene habits at home. Brushing teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste is essential to remove the plaque buildup. Flossing daily helps remove the debris and bacteria from between the teeth.
An often overlooked factor in maintaining gum health is the oral microbiome, which is the collection of microorganisms living in the mouth. Maintaining a balanced oral microbiome is important for good gum health. Consuming probiotics in the form of supplements or fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut can help boost the number of beneficial bacteria in the mouth.
What To Do
Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings with our experienced dentists at Asprakis & Danti Dentistry are also essential. Professional cleaning helps remove plaque and tartar buildup that cannot be removed from brushing and flossing alone.
Following a healthy diet can also promote healthy gums. Foods that are rich in vitamin C (such as strawberries, oranges, and kiwis) and vitamin D (such as salmon, mushrooms, and egg yolks) are essential for gum health.
What To Not Do
Smoking is one of the leading causes of gum disease. It weakens the immune system, making it easier for harmful bacteria to grow in the mouth. Thus, quitting smoking is also essential for good gum health.
Maintaining Gum Health
In addition to regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups to upkeep gum health, we suggest the following:
Brushing using proper techniques: Brush teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled brush in a circular motion, paying attention to the gum line.
Use Fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and promote strong teeth.
Flossing daily: It removes food debris and bacteria that cannot be removed from brushing alone. Make sure to be gentle while flossing.
Usage of therapeutic mouthwash: Therapeutic mouthwash helps reduce plaque and bacteria in the mouth.
Proper nutrition: A healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins is essential for overall health, including gum health.
Managing stress: Stress can affect our oral health indirectly. Thus, relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises and meditations are crucial in maintaining gum health.
Seeking Treatment for Gum Disease
When it comes to gum disease, the earlier it is caught, the more successful the treatment will likely be. If you notice any signs of5 Signs of Tooth Decay You Should Be Looking Out For gum disease (such as bleeding or swollen gums, bad breath, or loose teeth), schedule an appointment with our dentists as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the gum disease, treatments can range from scaling and root planing (a deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from the root of the teeth) to surgery to repair damage to the gums and jawbone.
What To Remember
Gum health is essential for overall health. It’s important to practice good oral hygiene habits such as regular brushing, flossing, eating a healthy diet, and quitting smoking. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are also crucial. By following these steps and seeking treatment early for any signs of gum disease, we can maintain our gum health and improve our overall well-being.
Asprakis & Danti Dentistry takes pride in providing comprehensive dental care for our patients. We offer a range of services to help maintain and improve gum health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.