When most people think of tooth care, they think of preventing cavities. While tooth decay is a big concern for children and adults of all ages, another reason to stay on top of your oral hygiene is preventing gum disease.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for adults, and it can be prevented if you know what to do. Some people don't realize that their daily habits may actually be harming their gums. Here are some common behaviors that can cause the gradual development of gum recession or periodontal disease.
Sharing Food and Brushes
Most people think that gum disease only comes to people who have poor dental health habits. While neglected basic brushing is a sure path to tooth decay and gum trouble, it's also important to realize that gum disease is a bacterial illness, and it can be spread from person to person by sharing food, toothbrushes, and other mouth implements.
It's common to see increases in gum disease bacteria within families because there is more sharing of saliva between family members. If you or someone is your house has been diagnosed with periodontal disease at any stage, it's important to keep brushes and straws separate to help control the spread of bacteria.
Eating a Poor Diet
Your diet has a lot to do with your oral health. While there is nothing wrong with a treat occasionally, those who have a diet high in sugar and acid will have higher bacterial cultures that contribute to gum disease progression.
Conversely, if you have a varied diet with whole fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and dairy products, your gums will be healthier. One study showed that people who incorporated yogurt and other healthy dairy products into their diet regularly had less risk of gum disease.
Skipping the Floss
Most people know the value of brushing every day, but much fewer people are consistent with flossing. There are several reasons why people avoid flossing. Some might find it uncomfortable. Others might have trouble maneuvering floss to the back of the teeth. Some simply forget. To make flossing easier:
- Invest in high-quality floss that will slide more easily between teeth. Some people skip floss because it shreds as they try to get it between their teeth.
- Get flossers instead of string floss. These help with reaching the back teeth, and then you don't have a string wrapped around your finger.
- Use a water flosser. Your dentist can help you find a reliable brand.
Flossing should never be optional. It's one of the primary things you can do to stave off gum disease.
Your immune system is essential to fighting bacteria and infection. Those who have great dental hygiene might still have bleeding gums (the first sign of gum trouble) occasionally. High levels of stress affect your body's ability to fight off disease, and it takes you longer to heal.
Try to reduce stress by practicing stress relieving techniques daily. You might do yoga, practice deep breathing, go for a walk, or spend some time relaxing in the bathtub. Whatever works to relieve your stress should be a priority,
Postponing Dental Work and Appointments
Finally, you should always make time for dental appointments. Don't skip your six-month exam and cleaning. The cleaning prevents cavities, but it also helps catch gum disease early so you can reverse it. As periodontal disease progresses, it gets harder to manage, and damage becomes more permanent.
Some people wait until they feel pain before going to the dentist. If you wait until you have unbearable symptoms, the repair work will be much more extensive, expensive, and painful.For more information, contact us at King Dentistry.