Being cavity-free doesn’t always mean that you can’t develop other dental health issues like gum disease. As this condition doesn’t hurt in the earliest stages, you might not know that you have it and still believe that your teeth and gums are in perfect condition.
Gum disease or periodontal disease starts with plaque buildup along the gum line. When not removed, this colorless film of bacteria can lead to gum infection or gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. Smileworks Dental and other dentists in Meridian, ID note that this can make your gums red, tender, swollen, and susceptible to bleeding especially when brushing or flossing.
When gingivitis is ignored or left untreated, it can progress over time and result in periodontitis, or the later stage of gum disease. This can make those pink tissues inflamed and affect the bones that hold your teeth. This can then lead to advanced periodontitis, which can destroy your gums and require removal of the affected tooth or teeth.
The good news is you’re not completely powerless to gum disease. By learning how to take care your gums, you can stop the progression of gum disease or prevent gingivitis in the first place:
Don’t forget to floss
Apart from brushing at least twice a day, don’t forget to floss at least once daily. This can help remove plaque and bacteria left behind by brushing. Experts note that flossing is one the best ways to prevent periodontal disease. You can do the habit before or after brushing.
Get your teeth cleaned professionally
Dental cleanings help remove plaque and bacteria missed by brushing or flossing. This can also detect the early signs of gum disease and address them early on. You should also keep in mind that professional cleaning is the only way to remove hardened plaque or tartar.
Quit or don’t try smoking
This habit causes you to have more dental plaque, which then increases your risk of gum disease. It also compromises your immune system, making it harder for you to resist infections like periodontal disease. It also slows down the healing of inflamed gums.
Keep your gums free of gum disease with these tips. You can also consult your dentist for other recommendations on keeping both your teeth and gums healthy and strong.