When talking about our mouth’s health, it’s important to remember that it’s not always about how bright our smile is or how straight our teeth are. We should not neglect our gums because even if your teeth are cavity-free and they are the whitest and brightest teeth in town, it does not mean that your gums are immune to gum disease. The tricky part is, gum disease is usually painless. That is why most people have no idea that there is something wrong with their gums. This is why in this article, we will know more about gum infections and how to prevent them from happening.
What are Gum Infections?
Gum infections typically start when there’s plaque build-up along and under the gum line. Plaque is a sticky substance that is packed with bacteria, which is why it can cause infections that can affect the gum and bone, thus leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Not only that, but plaque can also cause gingivitis which is the earliest stage of gum disease.
How Can You Avoid Having Gum Infections?
Gum disease can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. The number one thing you need to do in order to prevent any gum infections is practicing good oral hygiene. These are the ways you can keep your gums healthy:
- Brush your teeth properly to keep your mouth and gums healthy – According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristle toothbrush along with fluoride toothpaste. It would be best if you also replaced your toothbrush at least every three to four months or as soon as you notice that the bristles are beginning to fray. Thoroughly brush and clean every side of your teeth and make several short strokes along with each tooth.
- Floss after you brush your teeth – Most people tend to forget this step, but the American Dental Association says it is one of the essential parts of good oral hygiene. This is because flossing can help plaque and food debris that is stuck between the gums and teeth. If plaque and food remain in those hard-to-reach areas of your gums and teeth, it can lead to tartar that can cause gum disease.
- Use mouthwash – According to the American Dental Association, using mouthwash can help reduce the speed of tartar build-up, prevent gum disease, reduce plaque build-up, and remove leftover food particles in your mouth. However, keep in mind that using mouthwash is not a replacement for flossing and brushing your teeth. Always look for a mouthwash with the ADA seal because it indicates that the manufacturer presented enough evidence to prove the product’s effectiveness and safety. Keep in mind that children under six years of age are not allowed to use mouthwash.
- Carefully rinse your mouth – Most people tend to rinse their mouth out after they brush their teeth. But oral hygiene practices should complement the effectiveness of fluoride products like toothpaste. See, when you wash your mouth out with water after you brush your teeth using fluoride toothpaste, chances are you also wash away the fluoride.
- Go to your dentist – Dental checkups typically include professional cleaning of the mouth. This is the only way you can make sure that tartar is appropriately removed from your teeth. Having your teeth professionally cleaned also helps eliminate the plaque you might have missed when you’re brushing your teeth. The dentist can also help you identify the earliest signs of gum infections as well as gingivitis.
- Do not smoke – According to the CDC, smoking can make you immune to gum disease because it can weaken your immune system. That is why if you want your teeth and gums to stay healthy, you should stop smoking immediately.
- Eat healthy foods – Everything you eat can directly affect your oral health. That is why you should opt for healthy foods such as high-fiber fruits and vegetables, cheese, milk, and yogurt, and foods containing fluorides such as seafood and poultry products. Along with this, it is also essential to stay hydrated and avoid any carbonated soft drinks and alcohol.