4 Ways of Maintaining Healthy Gums
Keeping your gums healthy has several benefits. When gum disease affects your gums, you may suffer from bad breath, tooth loss, and bone loss. Severe gum disease increases inflammation in your entire body, and the risk of heart disease or stroke increases. In addition, infected gums may lead to respiratory problems such as pneumonia.
Patients with damaged gums have difficulties chewing food and may lead to poor nutrition, which affects their bodies. Poorly maintained gums may erode and expose the tooth roots. This causes serious dental problems and also affects the appearance of your smile. A beautiful smile boosts your self-confidence and improves your performance. The dentist in Ballard Seattle recommends ways to maintain healthy gums. Some of them are:
- Floss Correctly
Flossing is an oral hygiene habit that cleans in between the teeth and dislodges food that is stuck there. Regular flossing gets rid of bacteria and plaque that may build up around the gums, therefore, keeping your gums healthy. You should floss even when you have dental appliances such as braces or have had dental restorations.
Although we know that we must floss at least once every day, most do not know the proper way to floss. Always floss brushing your teeth so that once the plaque and food particles are removed from between the teeth, brushing will remove them from the mouth. The Ballard family dentist will demonstrate step-by-step the correct method of flossing your teeth.
There are various types of dental floss that you may use. Some of them are:
- Standard floss. It is a thin strand of nylon that fits in between teeth that are crowded or very close to each other. You may choose waxed, non-waxed, flavored, or non-flavored standard floss.
- Super flosses. This is a type of floss suitable for flossing teeth with bridges, braces, and gaps. It consists of a stiffened end that helps floss underneath dental appliances, a spongy floss that cleans around the appliances, and regular floss to remove plaque beneath the gum line.
- Dental tape. It is a broad, flat, and ribbon-like floss that is easy to handle when flossing.
- Get Regular Dental Cleanings
Routine dental exams and cleanings help maintain healthy gums as well as teeth. Your dentist will examine your gums for signs of gum disease and thoroughly clean plaque and tartar from your gums and teeth. If any symptoms of gum disease are detected, they are treated before they become severe. In addition, regular dental cleanings can help reverse mild forms of gingivitis.
- Quit Smoking
You should stop smoking as it affects your immune system. Your body does not heal its tissues as fast or as well if you smoke. The gums of a smoker cannot fight infection successfully and heal very slowly after they have been damaged.
- Brush Twice A Day
Brushing your teeth twice each day or after every meal keeps your gums healthy. Food particles and plaque are removed between your teeth and gums when you brush well. If you brush too aggressively or use a hard-bristled toothbrush, your gums will be harmed and even erode. Replace your toothbrush after 2-3 months or when the ends fray so that it does not injure your gums as you clean your teeth. An electric or battery-powered toothbrush successfully reduces gingivitis and plaque compared to a manual toothbrush. Do not neglect your tongue, as it harbors bacteria that may infect your gums.
How Can You Tell That Your Gums Are Not Well Maintained?
Here are some symptoms of unhealthy gums and will require a visit to a dentist near you.
- Swollen, red, painful, or tender gums
- Receded gums
- Excess saliva may indicate an unhealthy build-up of gum disease-causing bacteria.
- Gums that bleed easily, especially after brushing, flossing, or eating hard foods.
- Permanent teeth that become loose and may fall out eventually.
- Teeth sensitivity due to exposed tooth roots
- Constant bad breath
- A metallic taste in your mouth due to the bleeding gums
If you have noticed any signs of unhealthy gums or need assistance keeping your gums healthy, make an appointment with us at Ballard Dentistry. We also provide several other oral health services for healthier teeth and more beautiful smiles.