Your gums are the framework of your smile. How well are you taking care of them? These soft tissues not only hold your teeth in place, but if they become diseased, they can pose serious risks to your overall health. Unfortunately, gum disease plagues nearly half of American adults, and it is the number one reason for tooth loss. When gum disease goes untreated, patients become vulnerable to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and pregnancy complications. But here’s the good news—gum disease is completely preventable and can be avoided with proper gum care on your part.
Consider these simple tips to keep your gums in top condition:
Maintain a Good Oral Hygiene Routine
Periodontal disease begins when plaque builds up along your teeth and gums. Brushing twice a day for two minutes is your best defense against plaque accumulation. Don’t forget to add daily flossing to your routine. Dental floss can clean just under the gum line as well as in between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.
Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
The American Dental Association recommends brushing gently with a soft toothbrush. Hard bristles can be too harsh and abrasive for your delicate gum tissues and cause them to wear down prematurely or pull away from your tooth roots.
Consider a Mouth Rinse
While mouthwash is not required, it can provide an extra boost to your oral hygiene routine and your fight against gum disease. A daily swish of mouth rinse can wash away food debris, plaque and bacteria, which prevents bad breath, decay and gum inflammation.
Say No to Tobacco
Smokers have a high risk of developing gum disease. Not only does the restricted blood flow make it difficult to detect early signs of gum disease, tobacco products (including cigarettes, vaping, pipes and chewing tobacco) can drastically lower your mouth’s ability to ward off gum disease.
Choose Healthy Foods
Both your teeth and gums need certain vitamins and minerals from your diet to stay healthy. Your gums benefit from nutrients that fight inflammation and disease, such as vitamin C, vitamin D, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Choose your snacks and meals wisely.
Last but not least, it is important to visit your dentist for regular checkups if you want to avoid gum disease or address it at its earliest and most treatable stage. Professional dental cleanings are the only way to properly remove plaque once it has hardened.
At Park South Dentistry, we proudly offer complete preventative dental care for your family. However, we also carry valued expertise in periodontal care. If you have gum disease, you can trust that our New York City practice is equipped to treat it so that you can avoid the serious setbacks of advanced gum disease. Call today if you notice red, bleeding or swollen gums.