According to the American Academy of Periodontology, half of the American population suffers from gum disease. Gum disease, or inflammation of the gums, is caused by a number of factors. The main reason for gum disease is poor dental hygiene. Most of us learned at a young age that we should brush our teeth twice daily. This is still the best advice for keeping teeth healthy. It may surprise you to know it’s also the best advice for keeping your gums strong and inflammation free. At Peninsula Family Dental Center in Soldotna Alaska, we encourage patients to be informed about their dental health—including caring for their gums.
Keeping our gums healthy is straightforward and easy to remember. The same habits you use to keep your teeth sparkly white are the same habits you’ll need to keep your gums healthy. Brush a minimum of twice a day to clean your teeth and your gums. When you brush, include the area near your gumline in your strokes, brushing gently to prevent bacteria from getting inside your gums. Flossing regularly and using a fluoride-based mouthwash are also very important for keeping your gums bacteria free.
Additionally, consider how your diet and other habits will impact your teeth. For example, eating sugary foods can cause tooth decay, and it can also negatively affect your gums. A cavity that forms from poor hygiene or poor diet may allow bacteria to reach to the inside of the gums and cause gum disease below the gumline. Gum disease can usually be prevented by eating well and practicing good dental habits. Replace sugary foods with healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Another habit that can be a source of gum disease is smoking. If you smoke, you may be interested to know that in addition to causing other health problems, smoking will deteriorate your teeth, and it can allow infection to go into your gums. Smoking is also a cause of halitosis, or bad breath.
Finally, make sure that any alcoholic beverages are enjoyed in moderation. Alcoholic drinks can be high in sugar, they are often acidic, and they can stain your teeth. Red wine, while it can be good for you in some ways, is especially known to stain teeth. Limit your access to alcohol and reap the benefits of whiter, cleaner teeth.
Our goal at Peninsula Family Dental Center is to keep you healthy, the reason our caring staff works one-on-one to make sure your dental concerns are addressed. We strongly encourage preventative measures for your oral health care, because happy teeth also mean happy gums. So don’t forget; brush your teeth and gums at least twice a day and floss afterward. And of course, see your dentist regularly!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (11/1/2017) Parveen chopra (Flickr)