What you can and cannot do to keep your gums healthy
The quality of dental care, namely brushing and flossing, directly affects the condition of the gums and the health of the entire oral cavity.
Dentist Anya Mahelitsky told us about the main rules of care, as well as what you should and should not do with your gums.
Why gum health is so important
According to the expert, not everyone realizes that the condition of the gums is closely related to the health of the whole body. Studies have shown that people with gum disease have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, pregnancy complications, and even dementia.
Signs of gum disease
There are signs that are the first warning bell, and they may indicate the presence of gum disease. The American Dental Association refers to them:
- Bleeding gums.
- Redness and swelling.
- Gums that are detached from the teeth.
- Bad breath and unpleasant taste sensations.
- Loosening of the teeth.
- Changes in the fit of the teeth when biting.
- Any changes in the fit of partial dentures.
American doctors also named factors that increase the risk of developing gum disease. These include:
- Poor oral care.
- Genetic characteristics.
- The presence of crooked teeth that require special care.
- Diabetes mellitus.
- The effect of certain medications.
How to care for your gums
To keep your gums healthy, you need to take care of them constantly. It is extremely important to brush your teeth twice a day. This process should last at least two minutes, and each tooth should be thoroughly cleaned.
Flossing is equally important. The brush cannot get into some places between the teeth, and food particles can collect there.
You should visit the dentist at least once every six months. If you think you have healthy gums, two checkups a year will be enough. In case of any suspicions of gum disease, the specialist will be able to warn you about it immediately during the visit.
What not to do
You should not be too diligent in caring for your gums. Certain actions may not be beneficial, but even harmful. That is why the doctor warns that you should not use a toothbrush with stiff bristles. The fact is that soft bristles can bend and clean the gum line without causing any harm, while hard bristles can injure.
Do not use too much force when flossing. As the dentist notes, do not touch the gums with it, because during the process you may not notice how much the thread slides and injure this soft tissue.
Consequences of gum disease
At the first sign of gum disease, you should see a doctor. If you put it off and do not go for a consultation in time, it can result in significant treatment costs in the future.
In addition, as the expert noted, gum disease can increase the risk of other health problems. Studies have shown that gum disease can worsen over time, meaning that the number of inflammatory processes in the blood increases along with it. This leads to a significantly increased risk of heart disease or diabetes. Equally important, it can even increase the risk of premature birth in pregnant women.
That is why the doctor emphasizes that gum care is one of the keys to the health of the whole body, so you should not be lazy to brush your teeth, floss, and undergo a timely examination by specialists.