Taking proper care of your teeth and gums is a vital part of tending to your overall health. If undetected or left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss, bone deterioration, permanent mouth damage, and it can be devastating to your whole-body wellness.
How to Keep Gums Healthy
Even still, gums are often neglected. Many people fail to use dental floss regularly and stay on top of routine dental cleanings. Approximately 50 percent of adults over 30 develop some level of gum disease, yet with proper oral hygiene habits, it is easy to prevent.
Since the early signs of gum disease are mild, they are easy to ignore, especially if you don’t recognize the symptoms. This is one reason why gum disease is so common. But the signs of healthy and unhealthy gums are quite clear.
- Pink and firm
- Adhere snugly around teeth
- Keep teeth tightly in place
- Do not bleed easily
- No swelling or tenderness
- Swollen and red
- Tender or painful to the touch
- Easy to bleed
- Thin, white or pale in color
Gum Disease Prevention
Knowing how to keep gums healthy is the first step toward preventing gum disease. Caring for your teeth and gums does not require an extraordinary effort. Just practice good oral hygiene every day, to help maintain gum health.
Brush at least twice every day: Whenever possible, brush with a fluoride toothpaste after each meal. Choose a toothbrush with soft, nylon bristles and use gentle, circular motions to clean your teeth. Brushing with too much force will not clean your teeth any better, in fact, it can damage enamel and cause gum irritation. Replace your brush about every four months, sooner if the bristles are frayed.
Floss daily: A dental floss is a highly-effective tool for removing plaque, food debris and bacteria from areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Be sure to scrape teeth surfaces using gentle, back and forth motion and not dig hard into the gums.
Use a therapeutic mouthwash every day: Rinsing with a good therapeutic mouth wash helps eliminate bacteria that accumulates on teeth, gums and beneath the gum line. Swishing daily provides added protection against gum disease and cavities. If you notice early signs of gum disease such as redness or swelling, try rinsing with a mixture of warm water and salt twice a day to boost the natural healing process.
Visit your dentist regularly: Typically, professional dental cleanings and exams are recommended twice a year, at six-month intervals. But if you are having oral health issues or symptoms of unhealthy gums, you may need to see your dentist more frequently.
Stop smoking: Tobacco users are twice as likely to develop gum disease, as compared to people who don’t smoke, or use tobacco products. The dangerous habit can cause a plethora of health concerns along with dry mouth, teeth yellowing and sticky deposits on enamel, creating the ideal environment for bacteria to flourish and plaque to accumulate.