Gum disease occurs when plaque builds up under and along your gum line. Excessive plaque build-up can cause infections and create issues in your mouth. If left untreated, it can affect your overall health, too. Serious conditions linked to gum disease, include:
- Heart disease
- Pregnancy complications (i.e. preterm labor and low-birth-weight)
- Cancer (e.g. oral, breast, colon, and pancreatic)
Signs and Symptoms Of Gum Disease
Gum disease comes in three stages. The first is gingivitis. Signs of this stage include red, tender, or swollen gums. They may suffer from inflammation where they easily bleed. If this is left untreated, the next stage of gum disease is periodontitis. This affects the bones that hold your teeth in place. Your gums, bones, and tissues that surround your teeth can decline. Lastly, advanced periodontitis is the final stage. This is when the fibers and bones supporting your teeth are so damaged that your bite is affected, and tooth loss may occur.
5 Things You Can Do To Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease is a scary condition. However, there are things you can do to prevent the illness.
1. Choosing A Healthy Lifestyle
Believe it or not, practicing a healthy lifestyle is an excellent start to battling gum disease. Indulging in sugary drinks or sweets once in a while is fine, however, drinking and eating food and beverages with excessive sugar regularly is bad for your gums. Not to mention your teeth, too! Eating a balanced diet filled with fruits, veggies, good proteins, and whole grains does your smile wonders! It’s also great for your overall health.
2. No Smoking
Smoking is a bad habit that also increases the risk of gum disease. Smoking cigarettes lowers your immune system, which makes it harder to fight off illnesses. Smoking also makes it difficult for your gums that suffer damage to heal.
3. A Proper Oral Hygiene Routine
Another great way to prevent gum disease is proper oral hygiene. Establishing a daily routine is the best way to start. Your Anchorage dentist will encourage you to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Plus, don’t forget to floss! Flossing removes food stuck between your teeth that your brush can’t. Another important step is a mouthwash rinse. This helps to rid smaller particles from your mouth, which reduces the risk of plaque build-up.
You can take this routine further by brushing, flossing, and rinsing after each meal. Simply carry a travel bag with a small-sized toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash in your purse, car, or leave it at work. It’s not only great to do this for your teeth and gums, but your breath will always smell minty fresh.
4. Use The Right Tools
If you want a first-rate dental care routine, make sure you have the right tools! Most dentists in Anchorage recommend a soft-bristle toothbrush. You may also consider investing in an electric brush. This makes it easier to reduce plaque build-up, especially in those hard-to-reach areas. Swapping out your toothbrush every 3-4 months is a good idea, too. In fact, if you notice bristles are starting to fray, you may want to replace your brush sooner.
Finally, American Dental Association (ADA) recommends going with fluoride toothpaste.
5. Dental Check-ups & Professional Cleanings
Regular check-ups with your Anchorage dentist are key to preventing gum disease. During your examination, a dentist looks for and can detect early signs of the condition. If they notice a red flag, you and your dentist can easily address gum disease in its early stages. This makes it that much easier to treat. Plus, you won’t suffer any of the repercussions of the condition worsening.
In addition, professional cleanings are very important. A dental hygienist helps remove plaque build-up that’s difficult for you to reach while brushing or flossing. Professional cleanings also reduce tartar, which decreases the risks of gingivitis.
Prevent Gum Disease With The Help Of Your Dentist In Anchorage, Alaska
We understand how important your smile is at Excellence Dentistry. The health and beauty of your smile are important to us, too! It is our goal to maintain and restore your oral health. From regular check-ups to cleanings, gum disease treatments, and other dental procedures, we aim to keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape!
If you would like to learn more about gum disease prevention and treatment, give our dental office a call today at (907) 349-0022. You can also schedule a visit from our website.