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How to Protect Your Gums from Gum Disease
Gum disease is an inflammation of the tissues that support your teeth and it can lead to the destruction of the bone supporting your teeth. The inflammation is caused by the plaque buildup under the gum line.
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly can reduce your chances of getting gum disease. But, it is impossible to remove all the plaque. The plaque that sticks to your gums eventually hardens and turns into tartar, which infects the gums and leads to gum disease.
What are the symptoms of gum diseases?
Signs of gum disease include:
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Experiencing pain while chewing
- Your gums are tender to touch
- Swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Red or purplish gums
Factors that increase the risk of gum disease
- Poor oral hygiene
- Use of tobacco products
- Poor diet
- Substance abuse
- Diseases like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
- Hormonal changes
How to prevent gum disease
Brush your teeth daily
You can greatly reduce your chance of getting gum disease if you brush your teeth after every meal. If you do not have the time to brush after every meal, you should make sure you brush at least twice a day. Also, remember to scrub your tongue thoroughly because a lot of the bacteria in your mouth resides there.
Flossing regularly is also very important because it helps to remove the food particles stuck in your teeth that your brush cannot get to. If you do not floss regularly, the particles stuck between your teeth will feed the bacteria in your mouth, increasing your chances of getting gum disease.
Get your teeth cleaned regularly
Going to the dentist on a regular basis helps to prevent gum disease because your dentist will be able to notice early signs and help you treat it before it spreads. Getting your teeth regularly cleaned at the dentist is the best way to remove the tartar that has formed in your mouth and it is the most effective way to remove the plaque that you miss when you brush your teeth.
Avoid tobacco products
Smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products greatly increase your chances of getting gum disease due to the chemicals in those products. Smoking also weakens your immune system, which makes fighting off gum infection more difficult.
Use therapeutic mouthwash
Therapeutic mouthwash contains ingredients to help you fight plaque and tartar buildup, bad breath, gingivitis and tooth decay. They are available over-the-counter or by prescription and are more effective than cosmetic mouthwash, which is designed primarily to improve your breath.
If you are not sure about the difference between the two, therapeutic mouthwash contain chlorhexidine and essential oils, which are used to control gingivitis and plaque, while cosmetic mouthwash does not have those ingredients.
Gum disease can lead to bigger oral problems, which is why it is important to practice good oral hygiene. If you have symptoms of gum disease, contact your dentist to find out how to effectively treat the problem.
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