Healthy gums are an important part of your overall health. They help hold your teeth in place and, like a fence around the base of a tree, protect their roots. Unfortunately, many people don’t give proper attention to their gums until they begin to have problems with them. Gum disease can start out as minor irritation or swelling (gingivitis), but if left unchecked, it can advance to more serious problems. This is why Orthodontist Melbourne comes in and helps in keeping your gums healthy, and it is easy when you understand what causes gum disease and how best to prevent it from occurring.
WHAT IS GUM DISEASE?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection in the gums, which can result from poor oral hygiene or genetics. Bacteria in the mouth can cause gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss and other health problems if left untreated. This potentially serious condition is also known as periodontitis.
SYMPTOMS OF GINGIVITIS INCLUDE:
- You may experience sore, bleeding gums.
- Swollen or puffy gums are also common symptoms of gum disease.
- You might suffer from bad breath and/or a foul taste in your mouth as well.
- Teeth that are loose or falling out can be another sign of gum disease. Your teeth may be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, sweets, and pressure on the teeth.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR GUMS?
Use the right toothbrush.
When it comes to brushing, you want a soft-bristled brush. Harder bristles and electric toothbrushes can cause damage to the gum tissue, and this will lead to gingivitis and periodontitis.
Many types of brushes are available today (manual or battery-powered), but ask yourself if you really need an electronic option. If so, choose one with a smaller head so that it will reach all areas of your mouth easily without having to move your lips too much or get out of position while you’re brushing.
If not, go for manual over battery because they’re generally easier on gums; they don’t require any charging time, and batteries tend not to last as long as manual ones do anyway (making them more expensive in the long run).
Brush your tongue.
Brushing your tongue is one of the easiest ways to keep your gums healthy. The surface of the tongue has a lot of bacteria and food debris on it, which can then be transferred to the teeth throughout the day. This can lead to plaque buildup, bad breath, and eventually gingivitis (the early stage of gum disease).
To brush your tongue:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with small round heads
- Hold it at an angle parallel with the floor and brush back and forth gently under your tongue
- Make sure you get every inch—including around all sides—so none are missed!
Use fluoride toothpaste.
The mineral fluoride is found naturally in many foods and water. Fluoride can also be applied topically through toothpaste, mouthwash and dental treatments.
Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel in your teeth, making them more resistant to decay. It also helps prevent plaque from sticking to the surface of your teeth, which prevents bacteria from producing acid that breaks down the enamel and causes cavities or gum disease.
Therefore, visit your orthodontist Melbourne-wide regularly for routine cleaning and checkups; limit your intake of sugary drinks; and maintain optimal fluoride exposure levels through either dietary supplementation or topical application (like using fluoride toothpaste).
Floss at least once a day (and use the right technique).
Flossing is one of the best ways to keep your gums healthy. It is especially important if you have diabetes or other conditions that cause higher than normal blood sugar levels.
If your gums are inflamed and swollen, it can be difficult to get the floss between your teeth. You may need a flossing aid such as a water irrigator (to soften the food stuck in between teeth) or an electric toothbrush with an extra-wide bristle head on it.
Flossing helps prevent gum disease by removing plaque and debris that builds up along the gum line where a toothbrush can’t reach it all. If left untreated, this buildup can lead to periodontal disease, which causes infection and bone loss around your teeth, eventually leading them to fall out completely.
Don’t smoke or chew tobacco products.
As you may have guessed, the fact that smoking and chewing tobacco can cause a variety of health problems is not the only reason to avoid them. There are other reasons to give up these habits, and they relate directly to your teeth. Tobacco products like cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, dip and cigars all contain nicotine, which damages your gums.
The longer you smoke or chew tobacco products—and the more frequently you do so—the greater your risk of developing gum disease.
Your dental care professional orthodontist Melbourne-wide will advise you on how often to brush and floss as well as what kind of toothpaste would be best for you.
Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
You should schedule regular dental checkups with your dentist every six months. A thorough dental exam can determine the presence of gum disease and other problems early on when treatment options are more effective.
It’s also important to have regular X-rays performed during this visit so that any changes in tooth structure or position can be detected early on before they become an issue or require invasive treatment later on down the road.
Remember, regular brushing is the key to maintaining dental health. Brush at least twice a day and use toothpaste that has fluoride in it, which helps protect against cavities. If you have trouble with your gums bleeding, flossing may help. Don’t smoke or chew tobacco products, as these are known causes of gum disease.