About half of American adults have some form of gum disease, an inflammatory disease that can eventually lead to tooth loss. Gum disease can be difficult to spot in its early stages, which is why you need regular dental exams — and why you should do all you can to keep your gums healthy.
At Dentist at Rock Creek in Cypress, Texas, KimCuc Vo, DDS, and Sandra Raouf, DDS, focus on providing patient-centered oral health care, including gum disease prevention and treatment based on each patient's specific needs.
In this post, we provide some simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of gum disease and the infection, inflammation, and tooth loss it can cause.
You’re tired. You have an early day tomorrow. Skipping one night’s brushing can’t be that bad, right? Wrong. Actually, brushing twice a day is one of the best ways to prevent gum disease and cavities.
Brushing removes food particles and plaque, along with the bacteria that cause gum disease. The key to getting the most benefits is to change your toothbrush every few months, use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, and use the right brushing technique.
The American Dental Association (ADA) website offers helpful tips.
Like brushing, flossing might seem obvious. But despite the evidence that flossing helps prevent gum disease, plenty of people don’t floss, and those who do might not be doing it the right way. (Once again, the ADA website offers helpful guidance.)
If you have trouble reaching your back teeth or problems with flossing in general, try flossers, special devices that have easy-to-hold plastic handles, so you can get between every tooth.
Smoking doesn’t just make your teeth look yellowed and stained — it affects your gums, too. If you smoke, you’re more likely to produce more plaque, a sticky film that contains bacteria that can cause gum disease.
Smoking weakens your immune system, increasing your risk of developing the infection associated with gum disease. It also makes it harder for your immune system to fight off disease-causing bacteria. And smoking damages gum tissue cells, weakening the bond between your gums and your teeth.
Sugary foods might be appealing to you, but they’re appealing to the bacteria that cause gum disease, too. Limiting sugary foods reduces bacterial growth while decreasing your risk of gum disease and cavities.
It’s also a good idea to avoid, or at least limit, sticky foods. Why? Because these foods tend to get trapped between your teeth, providing nourishment for bacteria also lodged there.
Instead, choose fresh fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains as diet staples, and drink plenty of water, while avoiding sodas, sports drinks, and sugary fruit juices.
Mouthwash freshens your breath and keeps bacteria in check. There are lots of mouthwash options available, including products that whiten teeth. During your next visit to Dentist at Rock Creek, ask for help selecting the right one for your needs.
Regular checkups are important for eliminating plaque and tartar deposits that increase your risk of gum disease. They also provide us with a chance to look for gum disease in its earliest stages and treat it ASAP if we find that it’s occurring.
Gum disease is a serious oral health problem, which, without treatment, can lead to deep infections and tooth loss. To learn how we can help you keep your gums healthy, call 832-737-8234 or book an appointment online with our team at Dentist at Rock Creek today.