Did you know cavities aren’t the only threat to your smile? Gum disease is also the leading cause of tooth loss. However, an incomplete smile isn’t the only danger. The infection can also enter the bloodstream, increasing the risk of many health problems, including heart attacks and strokes. Although you might believe your gums are healthy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 50% of adults have the infection. While it’s common, it’s easy to keep gum disease at bay by following 5 simple tips.
1. Floss Every Day
Brushing is effective in keeping your mouth clean, but your toothbrush can’t reach everywhere, like in between your teeth. Brushing alone can leave 40% of your teeth surfaces uncleaned. Daily flossing is the best way to remove the buildup left behind by your toothbrush. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing every day using a product that has earned their Seal of Acceptance.
2. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Besides caring for your smile at home, the ADA recommends visiting your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup. They’ll remove plaque and tartar buildup, which harbors cavity-causing bacteria. Your dentist will also examine your mouth to look for anything concerning, like gum inflammation. With quick detection and treatment, you can avoid the complications of advanced gum disease.
3. Stop Smoking
Smokers are at a higher risk of gum disease. Not only is it more likely, but it is also difficult to treat. Smoking affects your body’s ability to heal and fight infections. It’s best to kick the habit to support a healthier mouth and body.
4. Brush Twice Per Day
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice daily, if not after every meal. Brushing removes food particles and plaque that can lead to decay or infections. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste to clean your teeth for at least 2 minutes. Don’t forget to brush your tongue and the insides of your cheeks.
5. Use a Mouthwash
An antimicrobial mouthwash can complement your brushing and flossing routine. Use it in the morning and at night to kill any remaining bacteria. You’ll keep your gums healthy and enjoy minty fresh breath.
Don’t Ignore Signs of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, which is easy to treat when caught early. Red, swollen, and bleeding gums are the first signs of infection. With no treatment, symptoms can progress to gum recession, bad breath, and eventual tooth loss.
Don’t wait to contact your dentist. Besides recommending changes to your oral hygiene routine at home, they’ll also create a personalized treatment plan to restore your gum health.
About Dr. Anthony Giamberardino
Dr. Giamberardino earned his dental degree from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and has regularly continued his education in many specialties, like gum disease therapy. He is a member of many professional organizations, including a Fellow of the American College of Dentistry. Request an appointment through our website or call (339) 674-6725.