Sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA), September is National Gum Care Month, a time for all of us to focus on oral health and gum disease prevention.
As we’ve mentioned many times here at The Dental Health Blog, taking care of your teeth and gums protect far more than your smile; doing so can also help to prevent other related health problems that may seem unrelated. In fact, you should think of your gums as a barrier that helps prevent inflammation that may damage your body. There is ample research that shows gum disease can be linked to a variety of health problems, such as: diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature births or low-birth weight babies.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Without proper oral care, such as regular brushing and flossing, the early stages of gum disease, also known as gingivitis, may develop. You might have gingivitis if:
- Your gums appear to be red and swollen in certain places
- Your gums feel tender when you touch them or brush them
- Your gums bleed easily when you brush your teeth or floss
- You’ve noticed that your gums have started to pull away from the edges of your teeth
Beyond these more obvious symptoms, you may be suffering from gingivitis if your bite, or the way your teeth and gums feel, has changed in any way recently.
Gum Disease Prevention
The good news is, preventing gum disease is relatively easy, as long as you practice proper dental hygiene. Make sure to practice these simple habits for gum disease prevention:
- Brush your teeth daily – Brushing after meals helps remove food debris and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, since bacteria love to hide there.
- Floss your teeth daily – Flossing at least once a day helps remove food particles and plaque between teeth and along the gum line that your toothbrush can’t quite reach.
- Swish with mouthwash – Using a mouthwash can help reduce plaque and can remove remaining food particles that brushing and flossing missed.
- Know your gum disease risk factors – Age, smoking, diet and genetics can all increase your risk for periodontal disease. If you are at increased risk, be sure to talk with your dental professional.
This September, as part of National Gum Care Month, make a renewed commitment to taking care of your gums, your teeth, and your mouth in general, as a way to prevent tooth loss and other health problems.
The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems, including total tooth replacement. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.