Gum disease isn't something that anyone wants to go through. From the minor stages to the most severe, gum disease can be painful, it can smell bad, and it can seriously impact your appearance. If you've worked hard with a dentist to recover your gum health and don't want to have to go through the same thing all over again, here's what you should be doing at home to keep your gums as healthy as possible.
Dentists say it over and over again: if you want to protect your gums and teeth, you need to floss. Brushing simply doesn't remove all of the bacteria and plaque that can form between teeth and under the gumline. When this plaque and bacteria is left in place, it can create inflammation, swelling, and ultimately cause a gum infection that can progress to full-fledged gum disease.
Flossing may seem like a nuisance, but ultimately it takes only a couple minutes of your day. When you think about the time you had to invest to recover your gum health, it's definitely preferable to put in a little work now to keep that from happening again.
Water flossers are a great tool to use for gum health in addition to standard floss. Water flossers have been shown to be great for gum health, even in people who already have gum disease. While water flossers can't reverse severe gum disease on their own, they can make up a good part of your daily routine to prevent gum disease from coming back.
The reason you should use water flossers and standard floss together is that a water flosser can catch whatever floss loosened but didn't fully remove. It's also gentle enough to use on your gums directly, whereas some people have sensitive gums that can make it difficult to thoroughly clean under the gumline with traditional floss.
Avoid Bad Habits
Finally, make sure that you're not engaging in bad habits that can trigger gum disease or make it worse.
One of the worst of these habits is smoking. Smoking is bad for your entire body, and smoke can cause inflammation and damage to any tissue cells it comes into contact with. Smoking can lead to tooth loss, in part because of the damage it does to your gums, so if you're smoking, talk to a doctor to build a plan to quit.
In addition, don't bite your fingers or nails. This habit can not only damage your teeth, but it transfers bacteria on your hands into your mouth, which can increase the risk of gum disease.
Lastly, cut down on the sugar you eat. Sugar is especially bad for your oral health because it feeds the bacteria that are responsible for plaque, tartar, tooth decay, and gum disease. If you have to eat sugar, rinse your mouth and brush as soon as you can after your meal.
Keeping your gums healthy isn't impossible, even if you've previously been prone to developing gum disease. Talk to a dentist, like those at Tijeras Dental Service, to find out if you have any other risk factors that you can take into consideration when preventing this problem.