Approximately 47.5 percent of the United States is affected by Gingivitis. That’s almost 65 million people suffering from an entirely preventable gum disease that can lead to much more serious issues including periodontal disease which could, in turn, lead to tooth loss.
What You Need To Know
Here at Des Moines Dental, we find the best way to fight Gingivitis is by taking good practice to prevent it altogether. In order to best achieve this, it’s key to know exactly what Gingivitis and Periodontal disease are.
Gingivitis in its early stages is fairly easy to spot. Groups of bacteria from around the gums usually due to small particles of food getting stuck between the teeth. This build-up causes the gums to become sensitive and sometimes slight inflammation is involved. You will notice it may be uncomfortable to brush your gums or there might even be bleeding caused by brushing your teeth. This stage is easy to treat at an early stage, but if it goes untreated, it can become a periodontal disease which is a little more dangerous for your smile’s well-being.
Periodontal disease is the result of these gingivitis bacterial pockets causing your gums to form pockets between the gums and the teeth. This is something that needs to be seriously taken care of because it can lead to painful infections and end in tooth loss.
But all of this can be prevented. Here are the top 5 ways to prevent or reverse the effects of Gingivitis and gum loss
Pay attention to your toothbrush.
Brushing your teeth is probably already a part of your everyday routine. Most people will do a quick go at it just before going to bed, but not many people brush well enough to prevent gingivitis. The most recommended frequency is twice a day (Once in the morning and once in the evening) and each time it should be for two minutes. That’s four minutes a day which only accounts for 0.2 percent of your entire day!
There are also types of toothbrushes and how regularly you need to replace it to consider. You should always make sure you have a toothbrush that is labeled with soft or extra soft bristles. Although most people think that tougher bristles will make for better cleaning, harsher brushes will actually scrape the enamel off your teeth and hurt your gums, opening them up for more infection. The softer bristles combined with a solid type of toothpaste will be more than enough as long as you are following proper technique.
You might also want to consider switching to an electric toothbrush. The quick movements of the head will brush more efficiently than a regular one. It is important to keep in mind that you should be replacing your toothbrush every three months. When looking for electric toothbrushes, it would save you money if you purchase one with replaceable heads.
Even though it’s always advertised right next to brushing for a healthy lifestyle, flossing is something that less than 50% of Americans do. Gingivitis is most commonly found in places that regular brushing can’t always reach. The recommended time to floss is after every meal, but if getting into a routine like that or it’s hard to get time to privately floss during those times, try doing it right after you brush your teeth. You don’t have to be flossing for two minutes straight; just focus on flossing well in between every tooth. There are even disposable single-use flossing sticks so you can throw it out once you have finished and not have to worry about the long line of dental floss.
Monitor your diet
Sugar is the number one favorite food of the bacteria in your mouth that cause gingivitis. Staying away from any kind of sugar especially sugary drinks such as soda and most fruit juices can immensely slow down the progress of gingivitis.
There are also foods that can help strengthen your teeth and gums. As much as gingivitis is about the gums, their attachment to strong teeth is almost as important. Teeth are made of a similar build to bones, so taking care of your bones will take care of your teeth. Be sure to eat a balanced diet with plenty of calcium in it to keep your smile bright and your teeth strong.
Supplement your routine with Mouthwash
After brushing and flossing, most bacteria and food particles should be removed from your teeth, but there might still be some particles left floating around in your mouth and it’s always good to take one extra step to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Rinsing with mouthwash is much better than simply using water to remove the gunk that you brushed and flossed out; it can also kill any remaining bacteria you were unable to remove while brushing or even reach the more difficult spots even flossing couldn’t get. This latter fact is even more crucial for someone who has dental hardware such as braces or anything else that prevents the dental floss from going all the way to the base of your gums. It is encouraged to rinse vigorously for a quick 30 seconds then gargle for a few to get the best clean possible.
Visit your dentist
Here at DM Dental, we have the tools and expertise to make sure you are doing everything you need to be doing as well as providing extra care for your unique dental hygienic needs. In order to assure your needs are met and proper preventative measures are met, we recommend you come in for a checkup once every 6 months. We make sure the process is as painless as possible and that you are leaving with a fresh smile on your face.
If periodontitis has set in, we are professionally trained to perform periodontal scaling or surgery that will effectively stop gum disease altogether while also preventing any permanent damage that could be more serious if left untreated. If you’re interested in an appointment or have any questions, feel free to Contact us and we’ll be happy to set you up for a general checkup or consultation for any number of our Services.