September is National Gum Care Month and to celebrate, we’d like to share some Reno dentist-approved tips for how you can take better care of your gums. With roughly 47% of Americans (that’s 67 million people) suffering from harmful gum diseases to some degree, it’s crucial that we help reduce those numbers for the future. On average, the typical person between the ages of 20 and 39 is missing 1 tooth and by the time they reach their 60s, are missing an average of 8 teeth due to gum disease.
Fortunately, with proper gum care and healthy oral habits like daily brushing and flossing, gum disease is completely preventable and can be easily managed. Learn more about how to take care of your gums below.
Why Gums and Gum Care Are So Important
Having healthy gums isn’t just essential for maintaining your oral health. Not only do gums serve the vital purpose of keeping your teeth in place, but they also help keep the rest of your body healthy. Gums can significantly affect other parts of the body, even more so if there are underlying problems such as an infection.
To understand why proper gum care is so important, you first need to know what gum disease is. Gum disease is an infection that damages the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. It’s typically caused by bacterial plaque build-up which often results in tooth decay. There are varying degrees of gum disease with the mildest being gingivitis and periodontitis being a more severe form.
Research shows that gum disease is linked to a variety of health problems from creating complications in diabetes patients to the damaging effects of a gum infection on the heart. However, maintaining optimal oral hygiene can help prevent such serious problems from arising.
What Can Happen If You Don’t Take Care of Your Gums
Not taking proper care of your gums can result in some profound side effects. Not only are you at a higher risk of tooth loss and tooth decay, but you also put yourself at risk of developing serious health problems related to the heart, respiratory system, immune system, and more.
Gum disease has been linked to several serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke, heart attack, respiratory diseases, weakened immune system, problems with regulating diabetes effects, and more. Luckily, if you notice the symptoms of gum disease early on, you can take control of your oral health and get your gums back to being healthy. Here are some symptoms of gum disease to be aware of:
- Having bad breath or a constant bad/sour taste in your mouth
- Separating or loose permanent teeth
- Swollen, red, or tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Mouth sores or inflammation
To avoid such potential problems, try refining your gum care routine with our tips below.
5 Ways To Take Better Care of Your Gums
#1 Floss Daily
Flossing is key to optimal gum health as it helps remove food and plaque that gets trapped in spots unreachable by your toothbrush. While it’s difficult for the toothbrush’s bristles to get in between each tooth, it’s easy for food and plaque to build up in these areas. Dental floss is able to get in those difficult-to-reach spots to remove food and plaque build-up with ease, limiting your risk of infection.
#2 Brush At Least Twice Daily
Like flossing, brushing your teeth can significantly reduce your risk of developing harmful gum disease and other oral complications. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after each meal to remove food stuck in your teeth and prevent it from being trapped in there long enough to create plaque. But, brushing at least twice a day gives you a far better chance of preventing plaque build-up and gum disease.
Also, be sure to brush your tongue each time to remove bad bacteria that tend to sit and materialize here.
#3 Use a Fluoride Toothpaste
You’ve probably heard of fluoride toothpaste before, but do you know why it’s recommended by so many dentists worldwide? Fluoride is an ingredient used in most toothpaste to prevent tooth decay by increasing the remineralization process rate while slowing the deterioration of the enamel. Along with this, fluoride strengthens weak spots in your tooth’s enamel and exposed roots to prevent tooth decay from forming.
#4 Avoid Smoking
Smoking is extremely bad for your health, including your oral health. Evidence shows that smoking can bring the onset of harmful gum disease and make it more difficult for your body to fight off the infection in your mouth. Smoking leads to a weakened immune system which can result in the development of gingivitis or periodontitis if not treated right away. Smoking also makes it more difficult for gums to heal and could create long-term physical damage.
#5 Visit Your Reno Dentist for Regular Cleanings
Staying up-to-date on your dental care can prevent the development of cavities and gum disease before they begin. This is the best way to ensure proper gum health and to maintain a beautiful smile. The best way to prevent major problems is to catch them early on, or better yet—before they even begin. Your Reno dentist can also provide you with the best oral habits and practices to uphold such as flossing and brushing correctly.
Gum Surgeries by Reno Dental Associates
Gum surgery can be an intimidating concept when it’s recommended as part of a treatment plan, but it’s also one of the best methods for improving your overall oral health. Gum surgery is often used to cover exposed tooth-root surfaces, correct areas of gum disease, and improve the look of your teeth and gums. We offer a variety of procedures to enhance the shape and position of your gums to enhance their function and appearance.
Have questions about how to take care of your gums or want to know about gum surgery? Connect with Reno Dental Associates today!