Do you know your gum health is equally important as dental health? Your gums are an essential part of your oral health. They hold your teeth in place, aid in speech, and make it harder for dangerous bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Therefore, taking care of gums is important to prevent gum disease - gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gum disease is a chronic infection that occurs when plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth, causing irritation and inflammation. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and bone deterioration. Gum disease affects more than just your smile. Studies have shown that having gum disease can increase your risk of heart disease. Gum disease irritates the gums, causing them to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. Over time, this can lead to a receding gum line. When the gums recede, they leave pockets (spaces) behind. Bacteria and food debris become trapped in these pockets, causing infection. If the infection persists, it can spread to the rest of the body, causing health problems.
One of the most important things you can do to maintain healthy gums is to brush at least twice a day and floss regularly. Dentists recommend brushing after meals, if possible, but at the very least, you should brush in the morning and at night. Brushing and flossing help to remove plaque, which is a film of bacteria, food, and saliva that sticks to your teeth. When plaque is not removed, it hardens into a substance called tartar, which can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning. If tartar is not removed, it can irritate the gum tissue, causing red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. You should also use a mouthwash after brushing and flossing. An antiseptic mouthwash is an excellent tool for maintaining oral health. Mouthwash kills harmful bacteria, prevents plaque buildup, fights tartar buildup and gingivitis, decreases plaque-induced bad breath, and neutralizes acids that can damage oral tissue.
The food you eat can help promote a healthy smile. Your teeth and gums need certain nutrients to remain healthy. Inadequate levels of certain vitamins and minerals may put you at a greater risk of gum disease and tooth decay. For instance, a diet that’s low in calcium and vitamin D may put you at a greater risk of gum disease. On the other hand, eating a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals but low in sugar and acid is one of the best ways to prevent gum disease. If you do eat sugary foods, brush your teeth soon afterward.
Maintaining healthy gums is as easy as keeping up with your regular dental visits. These visits typically include cleaning from one of our dental hygienists. The cleaning removes plaque and tartar buildup that regular brushing and flossing can’t reach.
Smokers are at increased risk of gum disease. The toxins in cigarettes and other tobacco products are absorbed into the bloodstream and impact the entire body. The mouth is no exception. Smoking decreases blood flow, which slows healing. It also causes the gums to recede, increasing the risk of decay and gum disease. So, one of the best ways to maintain good oral health is to avoid bad habits such as smoking.
Contact Sugar Land Dental in Sugar Land, TX, for the best dental care. To book an appointment, call (281) 980-5100 or visit us at 101 Southwestern Blvd Suite 204, Sugar Land, TX 77478.