Your gums are the glue that holds your smile together, and as such, are more important than you might even realize. We are always taught to take good care of our teeth, but gums get a lot less attention. This is problematic because without healthy gums, your teeth won’t even matter. Gums keep your teeth attached to the bone, and when they become infected with periodontal disease you risk losing your teeth. Thankfully, gum maintenance is not a tough task, and merely requires tweaks to your usual dental hygiene routine.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Everyday, you brush your teeth to help remove plaque, a collection of bacteria, but it is easy to miss some. When these tooth destroyers are allowed to build up along your gum line, something sinister happens. The sticky bacteria become trapped in the pockets between your gums and your teeth, and this area becomes infected and inflamed. This is the most common form of gum disease, and it is called gingivitis. This infection is often very easy to miss, as it is generally pretty painless, however if it is allowed to progress, you may find yourself dealing with full blown periodontal disease. At this stage of your gum disease, your infection will have spread not only to your gums, but also your teeth and bone. This can cause abscesses, lost teeth, and a great deal of pain.
How do I prevent it?
Your first step to preventing this nasty disease is to take good care of your gums. We all know to brush our teeth twice a day, but you should pay particular attention to the area where your teeth and gums meet. Use a soft bristled brush that’ll tend to your delicate gums gently. Spend at least two minutes making sure that both your teeth and your gums are thoroughly cleaned. Flossing is important. You know it, yet many people still skip this step. Flossing cleans plaque from all of the spaces your toothbrush misses. Try to make a habit of doing this at least once a day.
Another way to protect your gums is by making smart food choices. Cut down on sugar as much as possible, and if you must indulge, do it all in one sitting. It is in your best interest to eat a whole scoop of ice cream, rather than snacking on chocolates all day long. Prolonged exposure to sugar gives bacteria a chance to really settle in. Sticky caramels and even things like fruit leather can adhere to your teeth, and spend all day doing damage.
Leiken & Baylin Dental Care of Catonsville
If you have questions about family dental care, or it’s just been a while since you’ve had a cleaning or talked to your dentist, it’s time to make an appointment. You can contact Leikin & Baylin Dental Care of Catonsville, Maryland by calling 410-747-1115 or visiting CatonsvilleDentalCare.com.
Disclaimer: The writer of this article is not a medical professional. Information contained herein has been collected from sources believed to be reliable, and every precaution has been taken to ensure its accuracy. The information provided here is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care.