September is Gum Care Month!
Do you pay attention to your gums when brushing your teeth? Gum health is one of the most neglected aspects of oral hygiene, with many people focusing more on the appearance and health of their teeth. In spite of this, without gums, we would not be able to have any teeth! Gingivitis and periodontitis are two forms of gum disease, both of which are caused by a bacterial infection in your gums. In addition, gum disease has been linked indisputably to other chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
September is National Gum Care Month, which means millions of teeth in the U.S. are at risk. Here are some top tips for taking care of your gums during this month.
Pay attention to your gums when brushing your teeth
The majority of people brush their teeth focus solely on making them as white and clean as possible. In addition to paying close attention to your teeth, you should also be paying attention to your gums, and specifically the spot where your teeth meet your gums. In this area, plaque forms. Plaque is a clear, sticky film covering our teeth that is continuously deposited. If left untreated, plaque can lead to tooth decay. By brushing close to the gum line, you can prevent plaque from spreading onto the gums, which can cause irritation and gum disease.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
You are at greater risk of gum disease and other problems if you use hard bristles, which can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush is more gentle on your gums and will be just as effective. Additionally, using an electric toothbrush will provide additional cleaning in a fraction of the time.
Floss every day
Many people fail to floss regularly, simply because they have not mastered flossing or find it too difficult or time-consuming to do. Flossing is the only way to remove the tiny food particles that get lodged between teeth or wedged in the gum line near the base of the teeth. Make flossing a daily habit and your gums and general health will benefit. Decomposing plaque attracts bacteria and triggers inflammation and infection that can lead to gum disease.
You can put your gums at risk, as well as your general health if you smoke. You are more likely to develop gum disease if you smoke cigarettes, pipes, chewing tobacco, or even e-cigarettes.
Visit your dentist regularly
Your dentist is your best resource for gum care, and routine visits will enable them to keep an eye on both your teeth and your gums’ health and condition. Professional dental cleanings are another service that we offer. These cleanings can remove plaque from hard-to-reach places as well as tartar, which is what happens when plaque is allowed to harden. Before the disease worsens, any early indications of gum disease can be treated.
Call us today to talk with a member of our skilled and committed dental staff if you’d like additional advice on how to take care of your gums or to arrange for a professional dental cleaning.