Gum disease is a condition that affects three out of four adults. It is also known as periodontal disease. Gum disease is the top cause of tooth loss in adults. This problem not only affects your oral health, but it can also have a negative impact on your overall health. There have been numerous studies done to confirm that gum disease can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and pregnancy-related complications.
Fortunately, periodontal disease can be prevented. Below are some of the ways that you can reduce your risk of gum disease and keep your mouth healthy:
Brush Your Teeth A Minimum of Two Times Per Day
This is one of the simplest things that you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Brushing helps remove bacteria and prevent plaque buildup. You should brush for a minimum of two minutes. Make sure that you get every side of each tooth.
Flossing is something that many people neglect. In fact, a recent survey has shown that nearly 50 percent of Americans do not floss every day. Eighteen percent of Americans do not floss at all. Even if you brush every day, you may still develop gum disease if you do not floss. Flossing helps remove the bacteria and plaque from in between your teeth. You should make sure that you floss at least once a day.
Regular Dental Checkups
Regular dental checkups are extremely important. Your dentist or the dental assistant will perform a thorough examination on your teeth and gums. Keep in mind that periodontal disease is much easier to treat if it is detected early. You will also receive a professional dental cleaning.
Gum disease is less common in children and teens, but it is still a cause for concern. Therefore, if you are a parent, then you should take your child to a pediatric dentist twice a year.
Do Not Smoke
If you are a smoker, then you should consider quitting. Studies have shown that people who smoke are more likely to develop gum disease. Smoking causes tartar to build up around the teeth. It also suppresses the immune system, which can make it harder for the body to fight gum disease. On the other hand, you can drastically cut your risk of developing gum disease if you quit smoking.
Eat A Well-Balanced Diet
Everything that you eat has a positive or negative effect on your body, and that includes your mouth. Certain foods have been shown to reduce the risk of gum disease. Low-fat yogurt is one of the foods that should be a regular part of your diet. It contains probiotics, which are a type of healthy bacteria. Probiotics help fight bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay. They also create an environment that makes it hard for harmful bacteria to thrive.
Cheese is another food that can keep your mouth healthy. There was a French study done in 2012 that showed that cheese can help prevent plaque buildup, fight cavities and prevent the breakdown of enamel.
Furthermore, you want to make sure that you include plenty of vitamin C-rich foods in your diet. Vitamin C creates an unfriendly environment for harmful bacteria. It also helps boost the immune system and fight gum disease. Watermelon, green, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, berries and bell peppers are examples of some of the foods that are rich in vitamin C.
Care For Your Dentures
Dentures are removable teeth that still need to be cleaned on a daily basis. Cleaning your dentures is just as important as brushing and flossing daily. Dentures need to be cleaned because putting them back in your mouth can trap food particles or bacteria underneath the denture itself. If your denture isn’t cleaned you will be sealing bacteria against your gums and the denture itself. Most major dentist offices offer dentures or they can refer you to a dentist who offers dentures. Be sure to ask your dentist for the best ways of caring for your false teeth, otherwise you run the risk of gum disease as well.
The job of a dental assistant is to help the main dentist who will work with you on preventing gum disease.