Gum disease is a minor issue when it first starts. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and it is characterized by gums that are inflamed and bleed when you floss. Gingivitis is not typically painful and can often be reversed by changing some of your oral care habits. The severe stage of gum disease, periodontitis, is a lot different from gingivitis. Periodontitis can cause pain, receding gums, and in some cases even tooth loss. Reversing periodontitis is much more difficult than reversing gingivitis. Periodontitis treatment typically requires the intervention of a dentist or gum disease specialist. There are some things you can do to protect yourself from gum disease so you do not suffer the consequences that can come from living with untreated gingivitis or periodontitis.
Brush twice per day
When you brush your teeth, you remove bacteria and food particles that are sitting on the surface of your teeth and at the gumline. The process of brushing can remove food particles and bacteria that can eventually lead to gum disease. If you are not intentional about brushing you put yourself at risk for both gum disease and decay. Making brushing a non-negotiable part of your routine is an important part of protecting yourself from gum disease.
Floss at least once a day
Flossing is a key part of protecting against gum disease. You can brush consistently and still get gum disease if you do not floss like you are supposed to. Flossing gets to areas of your mouth that brushing cannot reach – between your teeth. If you have the early stage of gum disease, flossing can help turn things around and get your gums healthy once again. If you want to get and maintain good gum health then flossing is an essential habit to develop.
Go to routine dental visits
One of the things that can lead to gum disease is tartar. Tartar is a substance that hardens on your teeth, often at the gumline. Tartar can irritate your gums and lead to gum disease. The only way to remove tartar is by scraping it off of your teeth – brushing alone will not work. During your routine dental visits, the hygienist will remove any tartar or plaque that have built up on your teeth. Removing tartar and plaque help protect the health of your gums.
Caring for the health of your gums does not require a lot of time but it does require intentionality. You have to make brushing, flossing, and going to routine dental visit essential elements of your routine. Being intentional with these steps will help you protect your gums from the various threats that can lead to gum disease. If you suspect that you already have gum disease, step up your daily routine and get an appointment scheduled with your dentist for a checkup.