February is gum disease awareness month, and it’s something all of us at New Albany Implants feel strongly about. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss and it can contribute to a variety of other oral health problems as well. The worst thing about gum disease is how preventable it really is – proper care can minimize your risks by a lot!
Preventing gum disease might seem like a tricky task: how does one do it? The reality of the situation isn’t nearly as bad – all it takes is good brushing habits, daily flossing, and professional dental care. Let’s start February off by talking about what gum disease is and how to prevent it!
Gum Disease: What Is It, Really?
If you’re going to stave off the dangers and destructive outcomes of gum disease it’s important to know what it is, why it happens, and what early symptoms look like. It’s hard to fight something that you don’t understand, which is why we’re writing today’s blog.
Have you ever noticed blood in your mouth after brushing your teeth? How about redness along your gumline, swelling and discoloration of the gums, or persistent bad breath? If so there’s a good chance you’re suffering from at least some of the beginnings of gum disease and need to seek treatment as soon as you can!
Gum disease is caused by the same bacteria that causes tooth decay. When that harmful bacteria gets under your gums it starts to spread fast, and there’s really no way for you to get between your teeth and gums to clean it out. When you end up with an infection of any kind your body fights it the only way it knows how: with inflammation.
The inflammatory reaction in your gums causes that bright red, easily bleeding condition that is gum disease. Typically this kind of inflammation is effective at combatting infection, but it isn’t that great in your mouth. Over time you will start to experience worse and worse symptoms and your body’s inflammation response fails to keep up with the infection.
As time goes on, your gums will recede, teeth will loosen and fall out, and your oral health will become worse and worse. Once gum disease becomes serious you’ll have passed a point where it can be treated by simply improving your oral care habits. You’ll do irreparable damage that could have been avoided!
Stopping Gum Disease Before It Starts
The earliest stages of gum disease can be halted and reversed really easily, but even when things are a bit more serious there isn’t necessarily cause for concern. There are some easy ways to improve your oral health, and we want you to be aware of all of them!
First off, you have to be brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time. But that isn’t the whole of what you need to be doing right.
- Always use a soft bristled toothbrush.
- Hold your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums.
- Use short, tooth-wide strokes.
- Brush each side of each tooth – you need to get the whole thing to remove built up plaque!
- Don’t brush too hard – it can damage your teeth and bend the bristles, resulting in a less thorough brushing.
You also need to be flossing daily, preferably every night. Flossing is a hassle – we understand that. It’s also an essential part of fighting gum disease. Plaque bacteria has a tendency to hide away in the smallest places it can find, and between your teeth are the ideal spots!
Lastly, you can’t fight gum disease without having regular visits to our New Albany office. It’s essential that your teeth stay as clean as possible, which requires twice annual cleanings to really keep them that way. We’re able to remove plaque from the spots in your mouth that you can’t reach – don’t let yourself end up with gum disease and lost teeth when prevention is so easy!
Make The Choice For A Healthy Smile This February
It only takes a few hours at our office and a few minutes each day to keep your teeth healthy, yet so many of us neglect to make the effort. Don’t take your teeth for granted – it’s much cheaper to keep them healthy!