September is National Gum Care Month, so it’s a good time to revisit what it takes to protect your soft tissues and ensure the wellness of your entire oral cavity. Given that your gums are just as vital to your teeth as soil is to plants, it’s important to know how to protect them. As you read on, your dentist goes in depth about what you can do this month to make a positive difference and prevent oral health issues like gum disease.
The Threat of Gum Disease
Studies show that over 85% of adult Americans have some form of gum disease, a condition that’s brought on by uncontrolled bacteria growth. Gum disease involves the irritation and infection of your gums, and is not only an oral health issue but also threatens your overall wellness. That’s because blood flows from your gums to other parts of your body.
Here’s how the disease progresses:
- Gingivitis – In the first stages of the disease, your gums may bleed easily, and you may notice that they are puffy, swollen, irritated and red.
- Moderate Gum Disease – If the disease is allowed to further develop, the connective tissues and fibers can be permanently damaged, and the gums can begin to recede.
- Advanced Gum Disease – By the time the disease advances to this stage, the connective tissues, fibers and bones can be destroyed, and the roots of the teeth dissolved. This leaves your digits vulnerable to falling out.
How to Prevent These Conditions
Thankfully, the above problems can be prevented, and National Gum Care Month is a great time to revisit how to accomplish this. One way to protect your gums is to maintain regular visits with your dentist in McKinney for preventive care. While there, you’ll receive a thorough cleaning and expert examination to make sure there are no developing issues. If any are discovered, your dentist will work with you to develop an effective strategy to address them early.
Another method of protection is to practice excellent oral hygiene, which involves brushing and flossing your teeth at least two times a day to remove the harmful plaque and bacteria that contribute to gum disease. By consistently following this regimen and using the proper techniques, you are taking a major step in protecting your gums and shoring up your oral and overall health.
How Your Food Intake Factors in
A secondary method of protecting your gums is to be mindful of the types of foods you eat. As a basic rule of thumb, the healthier your selections, the better the effects will be on your gums. So instead of candy, it’s better to choose fruit to satiate your “sweet tooth.” And if you want a midday snack, some crispy, baked vegetables are better than munching on chips.
Eating healthier foods helps to raise the pH level in your mouth, which contributes to creating the type of environment that bacteria hate. It also limits the amount of sugar present for them to feed on.
Taking these simple steps will make a huge difference in your gum health and ensure that your teeth will remain strong and beautiful for years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Nathan Coughlin earned his dental degree from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. He would then go on to undergo the rigorous training to become a Diplomate of Orthodontics, which requires the demonstration of a high-level of proficiency and knowledge. Dr. Coughlin helps patients maintain the health of their gums at Oakbrook Dental & Orthodontics, and he can be reached for more information about his services through his website.