Gum disease is an unfortunately common problem, with the majority of adults experiencing it at some point during their lifetime.
Gum disease, or inflammation and/or infection of the gums, is dangerous if left untreated but possible to prevent if you take action. Our holistic dental team at Smiles of Chattanooga can help you keep your mouth healthy and disease-free, but to further lower your risk, take the following steps to avoid gum disease. When you are finished reading today’s post, be sure to call our Chattanooga, TN dentist’s office at 423-454-2181 to schedule your next appointment.
Brush and Floss Every Day
You hear it every time you see us for an oral health checkup, but there is a reason we constantly remind you to brush and floss your teeth. Properly brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing between each of your teeth daily is arguably the most important thing you can do to keep your mouth healthy.
But brushing and flossing daily is only effective in avoiding gum disease if you do each one properly. Whether your toothbrush is manual or electric, make sure the brush head has soft bristles. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and gently brush in circular motions, making sure to brush near the gum line. Hold your toothbrush vertically to brush behind your front teeth. The entire process should take two minutes.
When you floss, make sure you carefully floss between each of your teeth, paying close attention to the area near your gum line. You can use traditional dental floss, a floss pick, or a water flosser to get the job done.
Eat A Healthy Diet
To avoid gum disease, you should focus on eating a healthy diet. A diet that is high in sugar and starchy foods is more likely to lead to oral health problems. To lower your risk of developing gum disease, focus on following a diet that is loaded with nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Know the Signs
One of the many reasons gum disease is so dangerous is that many of its symptoms don’t appear until it has reached an advanced stage. However, if you know what to look for, you have a better chance of spotting an issue early on, so that it can be treated before it progresses.
Warning signs of gum disease include:
- Red, tender, or swollen gums
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or when eating hard food
- Loose or separating teeth
- Receding gums or gums that are pulling away from your teeth, making your teeth look longer than they used to
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Sores in your mouth
- Chronic bad breath
- A change in your bite or the way your teeth fit together
- A change in the way your partial dentures fit
See Your Dentist Regularly
To avoid gum disease and keep your mouth healthy, it’s important to see your dentist at least every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning. When you see us for a checkup, we can look for signs of gum disease and treat any issues before they become more serious health problems.