Recently, I have read in an article online that more than 35 percent of American adults suffer from periodontal or gum disease. That really surprised me because I rarely know of a person who suffers from this kind of disease, yet it is one of the most common oral problems that people suffer from. What I know of is that many people suffer from teeth problem. In fact, one of the most popular health searches online is about tooth pain relief because many people are really suffering from it.
One of the leading causes of gum disease is the lack of proper dental hygiene. Aside from plaques on the teeth, bacteria in the mouth can also cause gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums characterized by swollen, red or bleeding gums. In many cases of gingivitis, the inflammation is not painful. That is one of the reasons why sufferers also neglect their condition. It is important that gingivitis be treated as early as possible to reverse the condition or it could worsen and lead to tooth loss.
A gum disease can be detected with the following symptoms:
- Changes in the fitting together of teeth when biting
- Deep pockets in the gums and between teeth
- Bleeding gums during and after brushing
- Shifting teeth or having a loose tooth
- Persistent bad breath
- Receding gums
- Tender or swollen gums
- Gum pain
If you don’ have yet the symptoms mentioned above, then you don’t belong to the 35 percent of people who have gum disease. That is a good thing for you. The next step is to observe the following tips to prevent gum disease:
1. Brush your teeth properly. If you are not sure about proper brushing techniques, ask your dentist or hygienist for a quick lesson. Also, be sure to brush your teeth at least two times daily.
2. Floss your teeth. Flossing your teeth is also an important part of proper oral hygiene. It is helpful to remove small particles that get stuck in between teeth. It will only take a few minutes each time.
3. Drink more water after meals. Drinking water will not only aid in digestion but also in washing off food particles from the mouth. It also helps keep your mouth cleaner and less likely to be infected with gum-damaging bacteria.
4. Take adequate vitamin C. Include in your diet foods that are rich in vitamin C such as green leafy vegetables, berries and citrus fruits among others. Vitamin C is helpful in maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
5. No smoking. Cigarettes and tobacco are very destructive to your teeth and gums.
6. Visit your dentist regularly. Even if you don’t feel like you have any tooth or gum problems, it is important that you have an appointment with your dentist at least twice every year.
When you think about dental health, it is not just about keeping your teeth healthy and preventing cavities. The same attention should also be given to gums. If you have doubts about your gum condition, see your dentist immediately. The key to treating and reversing gum problems is early detection and treatment.