Your dental well-being plays a key role in your physical health. Therefore, being lax in your oral hygiene is not advisable. Besides affecting the state of your teeth, inadequate dental care can lead to gum disease, often resulting in loose or missing teeth.
As it is best to avoid such adverse outcomes, read on to learn how.
What Is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease (or gum disease) is a widespread condition affecting many people worldwide. Its root cause is bacteria that form plaque on teeth and gums, which leads to inflammation, bleeding, and, eventually, tooth loss.
Fortunately, gum disease is preventable. So, here are some practical ways to prevent gum disease and maintain good oral health.
1. Brush and floss regularly
The easiest method to prevent gum disease is to clean your teeth at least twice daily and floss once daily. Brushing and flossing are instrumental in removing bacteria and plaque from your teeth and gums, reducing gum disease risk.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth. Ensure that you brush all surfaces of your teeth, including your tongue, to remove bacteria that can cause bad breath. In addition, remember flossing helps eliminate plaque and food particles between your teeth and below the gum line.
2. Use an antiseptic mouthwash
Using an antiseptic mouthwash can help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth, which, in turn, helps prevent gum disease.
Choose a mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride, which are effective at killing bacteria. But please note that experts recommend using mouthwash before brushing and flossing to help rinse away any bacteria and freshen your breath. If you opt to use an oral rinse after brushing, be sure to wait at least half an hour. This delay prevents you from washing away vital fluoride deposits left on your teeth from your toothpaste.
3. Eat a healthy diet
Consuming a healthy diet can help prevent gum disease by giving your body the nutrients it needs to fight infection and inflammation. Choose foods high in vitamins and minerals, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. In addition, avoid sugary and processed foods, which can contribute to the development of plaque and bacteria in your mouth.
4. Quit smoking
Smoking presents a significant risk factor for gum disease. This is because it weakens your immune system, making it more challenging for your body to fight infections. In addition, smoking reduces blood flow to your gums, thus rendering healing more difficult. Therefore, quitting smoking can help reduce your risk of gum disease and improve your overall health.
5. Visit your dentist regularly
Regular dental checkups are a crucial part of preventing gum disease. Your dentist can check your teeth and gums for signs of illness or deterioration and provide the necessary treatment. They will also clean your teeth and remove any plaque or tartar build-ups. Finally, your dentist can give tips on maintaining good oral health and preventing gum disease.
6. Replace your toothbrush
When did you last replace your toothbrush? Can you remember how long you’ve been using your current one? If not, it may be best to replace it.
Regular toothbrush replacement is essential for maintaining oral health as the tool’s efficacy wanes. This deterioration occurs as its use slowly wears away the bristles’ strength. Therefore, dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months for consistent, optimum results.
The type of toothbrush also counts. So, consult with your dentist on which option is best.
Proper care is the secret behind keeping your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime. So, remember: preventing gum disease requires a combination of a healthy diet, good oral hygiene, and regular dental checkups. By following these suggestions, you can reduce your risk of gum disease and maintain good oral health. Finally, talk to your dentist immediately if you notice any signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums or persistent bad breath.