Preventing gum disease is important to overall dental health. According to the CDC, a majority of adults have some form of gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first sign of gum disease, and is the reason many adults end up losing their teeth. Gingivitis and gum disease can often be spotted by inflamed gums, which turn from pink to red and puffy, and may even bleed during brushing. If left untreated, plaque and tartar below the gumline can ultimately cause gum disease, which may lead to teeth falling out, and increase the risk of other serious health conditions including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory infections and premature birth. The good news it, gum disease is highly avoidable. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when it comes to preventing gum disease.
Brush at the Gumline
Gingivitis starts at the gumline, which also happens to be the most neglected area when we brush. Be sure to place your brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth so that half of your brush can clean your gums while the other half cleans your teeth.
Strengthen Your Bones
Just as the bones in the rest of your body can shrink and deteriorate, so can your jawbone. You can strengthen the bones of your body by exercising, refraining from smoking, and getting enough calcium, and the same is true of making sure your jawbone is healthy. Getting at least 800 milligrams of calcium a day can make your jaw stronger, help hold your teeth in place, and reduce your chances of developing gum disease. Think of your jawbone just as you would any other bone in your body. A healthy and balanced diet in general, supplemented by exercise, will go a long way toward preventing gum disease.
Get Plenty of Vitamin D
A study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people with higher levels of vitamin D in their system were 20% less likely to show signs of gingivitis. Vitamin D has been shown to have possible anti-inflammatory properties, which explains why it is often associated with reduced inflammation and gum bleeding.
Tongue scraping is a great, easy method for preventing gum disease. Whether you choose to scrape with a small spoon, tongue depressor, or toothbrush, scraping can help remove the bacteria and toxins hiding on your tongue. You will probably need to scrape from back to front approximately 10 to 15 times to be sure you’ve done a thorough job.
If you suspect you may have symptoms of gingivitis or gum disease, and want a professional opinion, or simply want to be sure you’re adequately preventing gum disease, contact Central Florida Periodontics today for an appointment.