You exercise and watch your diet to help reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and some cancers. Similarly, you should take proper care of your dental health to prevent gum disease and tooth loss later on.
It Takes Less than 5 Minutes Per Day to Improve Gum Health
Fortunately, it takes less than 5 minutes a day to maintain/improve your oral health. Dentists and dental hygienists recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. Flossing is just as important in order to remove food particles between teeth that may form plaque and tartar.
Proper brushing and flossing will give you a brighter smile by improving the health of your teeth and gums.
So, why should you pay special attention to your gums?
Taking good care of your gums helps to prevent gum disease, which is an annoying infection that affects your teeth and the surrounding tissue. Gum disease usually goes undetected for a long time because it does not cause any pain, at least until other symptoms become apparent, including:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums exposing the roots of your teeth
- Loose teeth
When gum disease is not treated promptly, it leads to an advanced condition called periodontitis that can result in swollen gum tissue and lose of hard tissue that ultimately causes tooth loss.
But the worst outcome of untreated gum disease is not limited to tooth loss. Health studies have revealed that periodontitis is a risk factor for several serious health conditions, including:
- Stroke and heart disease
- Pneumonia and other respiratory diseases
- Premature, low birth weight delivery
For people with gum disease, simple activities like chewing hard foods or even brushing the teeth can injure gum tissue, allowing bacteria in the mouth to get into the bloodstream. When these bacteria travel to your body organs, they potentially aggravate existing or cause other types of health problems.
How to Improve Your Gum Health
Health organizations estimate that as many as 75 percent of adults over the age of 30 suffer some degree of gum disease.
Gum-related problems start when poor oral hygiene causes bacteria called plaque to form on the tooth surface. Over time, the buildup of plaque collects at the gum line and hardens to form tartar, which then initiates the symptoms of gum disease.
To prevent gum disease, you should follow these tips after flossing:
- Brush your teeth at a 45 degree angle towards the gum line
- Use short strokes, moving the brush back and forth to brush both the front and back of teeth and gums
- Use the tip of the brush to clean the top and bottom of teeth
- Always remember to brush your tongue to keep your mouth fresh
Finally, keep your dental appointments for dental checkups and professional cleanings to remove harmful tartar.