You may not know it, but you’re in constant combat with the bacteria in your mouth that cause gum disease. Here’s what you need to know to win the battle and ensure top gums.
Gum disease can take two forms: gingivitis and a more advanced form, periodontitis. Both diseases come with a myriad of nasty symptoms including bleeding gums, receding gums, gum pain, bad breath and teeth sensitivity. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your dentist.
Interested in a toothless smile? (Negative, Ghost Rider.) If left untreated, severe gum disease can cause teeth to fall out! But don’t worry, there is something to smile about—gum disease is preventable.
Jump in the pilot’s seat and work your way to top gums by:
- Brushing and flossing daily: Brush with fluoride toothpaste at least two times a day. Flossing is the wingman to brushing, so make sure to floss at least once a day.
- Getting regular checkups: Regular dental checkups are especially important in preventing gum disease. With twice yearly checkups, the condition of your gum tissue can be compared over time. Additionally, professional cleanings are the only way to remove tartar, a buildup of bacteria along the gum line.
- Saying no to cigarettes and tobacco: Using cigarettes and/or other tobacco products automatically put you in the danger zone. Tobacco is one of the most significant risk factors for gum disease.
- Maintaining a healthy diet: Poor nutrition can worsen your gum’s condition. Obesity is another risk factor for developing gum disease. Make your mouth and body happy by eating like a maverick. Load up on nutritious, low-sugar foods, limit snacking and drink plenty of water.