Certain medical diagnoses can strike fear into anyone’s heart – cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and yes, even gum disease, which is the number one reason for tooth loss. While it’s estimated that about 30 percent of the population is genetically predisposed to developing gum disease, the reality is that periodontal problems are not difficult to prevent. Diligence and common sense can often be enough to keep your mouth healthy.
The Lowdown on Gum Health
Gum disease is a common condition, but it isn’t well understood. There are varying levels of periodontal disease, some of which require extensive, long-term treatment.
The most important thing to remember is that the soft tissue of your gums is the gateway to the rest of your body. This is a good thing – nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and water pass quickly and easily into the bloodstream this way.
Unfortunately, when your gums aren’t healthy, they allow detrimental bacteria to flow through, which has led some medical experts to conclude that gum disease and the accompanying inflammation can be tied to heart disease, stroke, and other inflammatory conditions.
Easy Tips to Maintain Healthy Gums
Healthy gums mean that your teeth are that much healthier; the gums provide the thick, supportive layer in which teeth reside. Complete the following care of your teeth and gums to help ward of periodontal disease:
• Brush twice daily. Don’t skip on tooth brushing! Brushing food particles away from your teeth is essential to preventing plaque build-up and the resultant cavities. Pay close attention to your gum line – removing these particles is a key to preventing the formation of bacteria and gum disease.
• Floss daily. For some reason, many people consider flossing a chore. It literally only takes a minute to thoroughly floss between all of your teeth. Ask your dentist or hygienist to show you the best technique for removing food particles.
• Visit your dentist. Keep up with your regular dental cleanings. No matter how diligent you are about brushing and flossing, there is some plaque buildup that only professional tools can properly and adequately remove. Any potential oral health problems, gum disease or otherwise, will also be identified during the accompanying dental exam.
• Drink H2O. Drinking water helps flush food particles from between your teeth and gums, preventing the buildup of bacteria and the formation of plaque. This is one of the easiest things you can do daily to keep your mouth healthy.