Many people are not aware that they are developing gum disease until it becomes painfully obvious. When periodontal disease is left untreated, it can cause the gums and bone structures in the mouth to begin to deteriorate. The gums will recede, exposing more of the teeth, and the teeth will become increasingly vulnerable to decay and loss. You can avoid expensive (and sometimes painful) dental procedures by taking just a few easy steps to prevent gum disease.
Brush Your Teeth and Your Tongue
You were likely instructed to brush your teeth after every meal while you were growing up. This is, of course, great advice to follow since it gets rid of clingy food debris and plaque that gets lodged between your teeth. But did you know you should also be brushing your tongue?
The tongue is a breeding ground for bacteria. Gross, right? Even if you thoroughly brush your teeth two or three times a day, bacteria from your tongue will remain and possibly cause periodontal disease somewhere down the road. Gently scrub your tongue with your toothbrush once per day to help keep the dentist at bay.
Floss and Rinse Every Day
Flossing and rinsing can seem like tedious extra chores, but doing both of these things just once per day is ideal in the fight against gum disease. Those pesky little food particles that get lodged between the minuscule gaps in your teeth can be difficult for even the best toothbrush to reach and require floss to remove them. After you brush and floss, swishing for about 45 seconds to a minute with an oral rinse can help wash away the debris and get it out of your body.
Change Your Diet/Lifestyle
Some of us are more at risk for developing periodontal problems than others. If you smoke, eat a lot of sugary foods, or have a family history of periodontal disease, you will need to be extra diligent with your oral care. Those with diseases like Sjogren’s are highly at-risk for gum disease and tooth decay and loss. You might want to consider eating less harmful foods or cease smoking habits if you are concerned about gum disease and tooth decay.
Undergo Annual Examinations
Last, but certainly not, least, everyone can benefit from scheduling and attending an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation (CPE). You might also want to consider orthodontic treatment, which not only aligns your teeth, it also helps to prevent gum disease! Make sure to see a professional, like those at Dr Basil’s Clinic, on a regular basis (as frequent as is recommended for you and your particular situation) have your teeth and gums assessed.
If you slack on your oral care now, you might find yourself regretting it down the road. Follow proper brushing, flossing, and rinsing procedures, and don’t be afraid to attend an annual examination, especially if you know you are at risk of developing gum disease. Your smile matters!
By Hannah Whittenly
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