Eating well, exercising, and visiting your doctor for routine checkups are key steps to live a healthy lifestyle. While most people place time and effort into their physical health, focusing on the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums is also important. Around half of all Americans have some form of periodontal disease, but you may not realize the true dangers of this problem that affects your oral health. Not only can this disease cause painful infections in the mouth, but it can also lead to severe decay and the loss of one or more teeth. Thankfully, you can prevent gum disease. With these simple steps, you can guard your mouth against periodontal disease.
Brush and Floss
Regular brushing and flossing are obvious tasks to keep your teeth clean and healthy, but you may not realize you are not brushing enough or you are brushing and flossing improperly. Experts believe children should brush twice a day for two minutes at a time to protect their oral health, but this recommendation should also apply to adults.
Avoid using an old toothbrush, which most likely contains old food particles and bacteria. Also, you should use toothbrush that is made with soft or medium bristles. These bristles along with a toothpaste certified by the American Dental Association are suitable for removing food, plaque, and bacteria from your teeth, gums, and mouth.
The dentist probably asks if you are flossing at each of your checkups, but they will already know the answer. Flossing is an imperative part of preventing gum disease, since it removes food and bacteria from in between and behind the teeth. If this food, bacteria, and plaque are left on the teeth and gum tissue, it will spread and infect the rest of your gums, resulting in periodontal disease.
Fortunately, you do not have to floss each time you brush. To guard your mouth against gum disease, make sure to floss daily.
You may be surprised to learn that certain medications can increase your risk of gum disease.
Many prescription and over-the-counter medications decrease the production of saliva in the mouth. This causes the mouth to become excessively dry and warm. Over time, the dry and warm environment will become a breeding ground for bacteria that causes periodontal disease. Without treatment, a dry mouth can cause pain, inflammation, bleeding, gum recession, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
If you are currently taking one or more of the following, you may have dry mouth that can cause gum disease:
- High blood pressure medications
- Urinary continence medications
- Antipsychotic Drugs
- Gastric medicine, such as Antidiarrheal drugs or laxatives
- Bronchodilators for pulmonary diseases
- Opiates and other pain medications
- Diuretics or water pills
In some instances, taking these medications is crucial to your health, so do not stop taking them without consulting your doctor. However, you should discuss these medications with your dentist to learn other solutions for protecting your oral health.
Eating a well-balanced diet is important for your physical and emotional health, but certain foods can also guard your mouth against gum disease.
To get started, incorporate more green, leafy vegetables into your diet. Spinach, kale, and even celery are loaded in fiber, which make you chew harder and longer to break them down. Chewing on these vegetables will help remove food and bacteria from your teeth and gums.
Drinking milk and eating cheese and yogurt are also beneficial steps for reducing the risk of gum disease because dairy contains casein. This protein fights acids and inflammation, making your mouth, teeth, and gums cleaner and safer.
From regular brushing and flossing to managing the symptoms of medications and eating well, you can prevent gum disease. To learn more about guarding your mouth from periodontal disease and other dental conditions, schedule a consultation with your dentist today.Share