Are you worried about or suffering from gum disease (also called periodontal disease)? You’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 47 percent of adults over age 30 have a variation of gum disease, and that number goes up to more than 70 percent in those above age 65.
While this condition might be unsettling, it is manageable and preventable (in most cases). Today, we’re going to share a few quick tips on how to deter gum disease and strengthen your teeth and gums naturally.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
The symptoms of gum disease range from barely noticeable to constant discomfort. You may experience anything from a little redness on your toothbrush post-brushing to inflamed, sensitive gums. Fortunately, preventing gum disease is possible.
Here are some suggestions:
Brush your teeth twice daily.
One of the best, simplest ways on how to prevent gum disease naturally is to prioritize your oral care. That means brushing your pearly whites twice daily with a good toothbrush and toothpaste.
Use the right toothbrush.
Any toothbrush can keep your teeth clean, but an electric toothbrush (vibrating, not spinning) can kick things up a notch. We highly recommend this type of toothbrush to help prevent gum disease. Electric toothbrushes have a vibrating motion, which is great for your teeth and also takes away any plaque or residue that might be lurking on your gums.
Keep in mind that electric toothbrushes can cause gum recession if you aren’t careful. The key is to let your toothbrush do the work. Move it through your mouth, but let the bristles work themselves. There’s no need to add a lot of pressure or dig into your gums or teeth.
Use fluoride toothpaste.
We’ve all heard about the benefits of fluoride (cavity prevention, for one). But did you also know that it can help prevent gum disease? The way it works is simple: it helps get rid of any pesky bacteria lingering around.
If you’re experiencing sensitive, receding gum lines, the bacteria will have a plethora of places to hide out in your mouth. Not only can this lead to cavities, but it can also worsen your gum disease symptoms which may include more space between your teeth, bleeding gums, or loose teeth in severe cases.
Brush the right way.
Gum disease prevention involves thorough tooth brushing twice daily. You’ll want to hold your toothbrush about 45 degrees from the gums and use small movements to clean all parts of your mouth. When you get to your gums, use the same gentle motion that you used on your teeth.
Your gums are sensitive, and too much pressure or movement can wear them down and put you at greater risk for gum disease due to receding gum lines. Too little movement can prevent you from cleaning your teeth and gums thoroughly.
We know that flossing is integral for your teeth, but how does it affect your gums? Flossing removes any plaque or buildup in between your teeth and gums, which leads to gum disease. Taking the time to floss can do away with any food remnants and bacteria, and it can keep your gums in great condition.
Floss the right way.
With your floss of choice (handheld or string), allow the floss to move along the right and left sides of your teeth. You’ll want to pull the floss all the way down the sides of your teeth to remove any debris. Once you get to the bottom of the teeth, make a “C shape” with the floss to get into the tiny area in the middle of your gums and teeth.
Use antiseptic mouthwash.
As mentioned above, bacteria is a major contributor to gum disease. That’s where antiseptic mouthwash comes in. It reduces bacteria, which keeps your mouth healthy and your gums as strong as they can be. It can also work beneath the gums, reaching areas that your toothbrush doesn’t quite cover. You’ll want to use your antiseptic mouthwash twice each day (morning and night, preferably).
Get regular dental cleanings.
Scheduling biannual cleanings can ensure that your teeth stay in tip-top shape. At these appointments, your dentist can also identify the early stages of periodontal disease. That can help you get proactive about your oral care and take the necessary steps to improve your gum and tooth health moving forward.
Putting your gum care first is vital to keeping gum disease away. We recommend brushing not just your teeth but also your gums with an electric toothbrush if you have one.
Gum disease can affect anyone. Fortunately, a few tweaks to your dental care routine can make a huge difference.
Experiencing symptoms of gum disease and want to meet with a dentist? West Richland Family Dental would love to help. Contact us today to schedule a cleaning.