Your teeth may be nice and white and healthy looking, but are your gums in great shape too? It’s all too easy to overlook your gums, but they have a very important role to play, and without healthy gums your teeth will have no option but to desert your mouth. Chronic gum disease which is also called periodontal disease is frighteningly common, and is something that Dr David Brown sees all too often. It is a bacterial infection that affects all the structures surrounding your teeth. This includes not only your gums, but also the ligaments that help hold your teeth in the sockets, and the bony sockets themselves. It’s an insidious condition that can creep up on you, but it all boils down to allowing plaque bacteria to build up on your teeth and gums where they can create infection and inflammation.
During the early stages of this condition, something that’s called gingivitis, you might notice your gums bleed when you brush or floss them, and you may even be tempted to stop flossing for a few days to let them settle down. This is the worst thing possible, as the bleeding is an indication that your gums are infected, and the infection needs removing. By failing to floss you’re simply allowing the bacteria to remain in place where they will be able to multiply and create even more infection. So what can you do to prevent the infection from taking hold in the first place?
Brush up on Your Brushing Technique
It’s all too easy to get set in your ways when you brush your teeth, and it’s something that many of us learned how to do as children and have never thought about since. It can become an automatic response, but you might not necessarily be making the most of those few minutes you spend brushing your teeth in the morning and evening.
When you brush your teeth, just pause for a moment and think about what you’re doing, and ask yourself if you’re actually cleaning all surfaces of your teeth. Do they feel nice and clean when you run your tongue over them? Or are there areas that still feel a bit dodgy? The dentist at Leeds City Dentalcare can give you lots of advice on how to brush your teeth more effectively, and how to make every second count. There’s also no escaping the need to floss each day, as this removes all the bacteria in areas where your toothbrush simply can’t reach.
Watch Your Diet
Healthy gums also need a good diet that’s rich in fruit and vegetables that contain plenty of fibre, vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. This means your body will be able to fight any bacterial infection, and can send all the necessary nutrients straight to the tissues in your gums to help them heal and repair themselves. It’s worth cutting out snacks, and limiting the amount of sticky and chewy foods you eat. Every time you snack, the bacteria will get to work and will produce toxins and acids that will attack your gums.
It’s best to clean your teeth after every meal, but this isn’t always practical. Instead it can be worth chewing sugar-free gum. The chewing action will help stimulate the production of saliva which is beneficial in helping to wash away excess food particles. Chewing gum will also help remove all the pieces of food that can get stuck in between your teeth and in the deep pits and fissures in your back teeth. If you can, choose the gum that contains xylitol. This is a natural sugar substitute that has an antimicrobial effect which can help gum health.