Habits for Healthy Gums to Prevent Gum Disease


Must-Have Habits for Healthy Gums: The Top 10 Tips to Prevent Gum Disease

A 2018 survey found that 42% of Americans don’t see their dentists as often as they believe they should. That’s despite the fact that 85% of them understand how crucial oral health is to overall health.

So, it’s no wonder that over four in 10 U.S. adults have periodontitis or gum disease. What’s more, almost 8% of them suffer from severe or advanced periodontitis.

That should tell you how important regular preventative dental care is to your gums. But having healthy gums actually starts at home and with your own oral hygiene habits.

Ready to prevent gum disease from causing you pain, gum abscesses, and eventual tooth loss? Then let’s dive right into it!

Why You Should Do Everything You Can to Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease occurs when bacteria-containing plaque builds up on the teeth. They’re the same bacteria that produce acids that weaken and destroy tooth enamel. If they’re powerful enough to bore holes in your teeth, imagine what they can do to your softer, more sensitive gums.

Brushing your teeth removes bacterial plaque, but it can form again after a few hours. If this build-up stays on the teeth for 24 to 72 hours, it’ll harden and turn into tartar. Tartar further nourishes the bacteria, hastening the development of gum disease.

Bleeding, swollen, or sore gums are the first signs of gingivitis or early stage gum disease. Other symptoms include bad breath, teeth sensitivity, and even pus.

Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, which can already cause jawbone damage. The gums may also pull away from the teeth, leading to painful, loose adult teeth. This can then result in the eventual loss of permanent teeth.

You don’t want to lose any of your teeth, so follow the tips below on how to prevent gum disease.

1. Switch to an Electric Toothbrush

Researchers found that electric toothbrushes are better in removing dental plaque. They’re more expensive than manual toothbrushes, but the extra price can be worth it.

2. Brush After Every Meal (and Snack)

Using a circular motion, brush the back of your mouth, starting with the top molars. Move on to the front and back areas of your upper teeth. Proceed to the bottom teeth, but brush the bottom molars first before the rest of your lower teeth.

3. Give Your Tongue a Gentle Scrubbing Too

The entire mouth, including the tongue, can house bad bacteria that also cause bad breath. So, give your tongue a gentle scrubbing too, using your soft-bristled toothbrush.

4. Replace Your Toothbrush After Three to Four Months

Earlier, if the bristles are already fraying. If you have an electric toothbrush, check the manufacturer’s recommendations. And be sure you replace it with a compatible brush head, better if it’s the same brand.

5. Floss Daily

Especially if you have crooked teeth, as there are more areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing removes the plaque and bits of food that regular brushing doesn’t.

6. Invest in a Therapeutic Mouthwash

Therapeutic mouthwashes are also great for gum disease prevention and plaque reduction. Some of the more powerful rinses also protect your teeth longer from plaque and tartar. Plus, swishing some mouthwash can also help remove more food debris from your teeth and gums.

7. Eat More of These Foods for Healthier Gums

Onions, whether red, green, or white, have antibacterial properties. These properties can help protect your gums, so consider adding more of them to your meals. Here’s another reason: A study found that onions can even inhibit E. coli and Salmonella.

Pack your meals as well with dark leafy greens, like spinach and kale. These are rich in Vitamin C that helps reduce inflammation. This anti-inflammatory effect can make your gums less susceptible to swelling and infection.

Dairy products, including milk, cheese, and yogurt, should be on your grocery list too. They contain a protein known as casein, which can significantly reduce tissue loss. It also inhibits dental enamel erosion, which can help prevent teeth weakening.

8. Watch What You Eat and Drink

Sticky candies, like caramels and lollipops, contain loads of refined sugar. When you feast on these candies, the bad bacteria in your mouth also feast on them. This can then lead to plaque forming faster on your teeth.

Sodas and fruit juices are also packed with sugar, and they can stain your teeth too. Worse, their phosphoric and citric acid content can also cause tooth enamel erosion.

Researchers also found that the more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk for gum disease. As such, cutting down on your alcohol intake can help boost your oral and overall health.

9. Use Baking Soda When Brushing

Research findings suggest that baking soda is effective in removing plaque. It’s also safe to use on the teeth, not to mention cheap and available in almost all supermarkets.

Another study even found that baking soda can help prevent tooth decay. Its antimicrobial properties can lower the amount of bacteria called Streptococcus mutans. This is the main type of bacteria that cause tooth decay.

10. Pull Out Bacteria with Oil

Oil pulling can help reduce the bad bacteria in your mouth. Especially coconut oil, which has powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

In fact, in one study, coconut oil decreased dental plaque by 50% in the participants. They also reported a considerable reduction in their gingivitis symptoms.

To oil pull, warm up a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it around your mouth for up to 10 minutes. Spit out the used oil on a paper towel or straight to a trash bin.

If you don’t have coconut oil, you can also use sesame oil or sunflower oil. Both have also shown plaque-reducing properties.

Keep Your Gums Healthy and Yourself Happy
As you can see, there are many ways to prevent gum disease and they all start right at home. But you should still pay regular visits to your dentist, as gum disease can be sneaky. Even with optimal dental hygiene habits, you’re still at risk for gum disease.

The best way to completely keep gum disease at bay is to follow these tips and see your dentist at least twice a year. This way, your dentist can find out sooner if you already have teeth or gum problems. From there, your doctor can stop the disease from worsening.

Interested in learning more about what preventative dental care can do for you? Feel free to connect with us then! We’ll be happy to discuss what your options are for healthier, stronger teeth and gums.


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