Simple Steps to Reduce your Chances of Gingivitis
While one of the biggest reasons for brushing regularly is to prevent cavities, the other major concern that oral hygiene practices addresses is the state of your gums. Periodontal disease (gum disease) affects about half of American adults according to the Centers for Disease Control. in its early stages, when the gums are first inflamed, the condition is called gingivitis. If left untreated, it can become a more serious infection called periodontitis. Here are some simple ways that you can prevent this process from starting.
- Brush twice a day. Your gums become inflamed due to bacteria buildup on the teeth and gums. Brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste removes the bacteria before it can produce plaque.
- Floss every day. Although brushing removes a lot of bacteria, your toothbrush can’t reach between teeth where plaque can develop easily. The best way to remove plaque from between teeth is to floss.
- Have your teeth cleaned regularly. If plaque stays on your teeth too long, it can harden into tartar. Especially in the early stages of gum disease, removing the tartar can go a long way in allowing your gums to heal. Your SunWest Dental office has the tools and expertise to remove tartar effectively and comfortably.
- Eat a balanced diet. Adding foods that promote gum health can help you keep your gums and the rest of your body healthy. Look for foods containing Vitamin C (although be careful with the highly acidic fruits), leafy greens which contain vitamin E and folic acid, fatty fish such as salmon and tuna provide protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and nuts, which are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein.
- Kick the cigarettes. Current smokers are about four times more likely than people who have never smoked to have periodontitis. ex-smokers still show an increased occurrence of gum disease, but if you abstain for 11 years, your risk of gum disease is equal to that of a lifelong nonsmoker.
- Ease your money worries. Separate studies have shown that stress weakens the immune system, preventing your body and your gums from warding off infection. Researchers also found that people dealing with financial strain specifically were at higher risk for gum disease, but dealing with financial strain in an active and positive manner reduces your risk.
Having consistent oral hygiene habits is the best defense against gum disease and tooth decay. As part of those habits, make sure you’re visiting your dentist at least twice a year. If you’re overdue for a visit, call your Prescott SunWest Dental today.