September is National Gum Care Month, and it is a big deal for your oral health. Good oral health is the foundation to a healthy-looking, self-confident appearance when it comes to your smile. By ensuring healthy teeth and gums – because when it comes to tooth loss, it is not just from tooth decay and cavities – periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults! It is why your daily oral hygiene care (combined with regular dental checkups) is crucial to getting the healthy, beautiful smile you want and deserve.
As National Gum Care Month gets into full swing this month, we want to encourage you to get your biannual checkup and cleaning. If you have not already, book an appointment today. We can spot and stop gum disease in its tracks.
Gum disease starts as gingivitis as bacterial infection sets into your gums. It happens if you don’t brush and floss that harmful oral bacteria away, so it builds up into plaque, a sticky bacterial film you can feel when running your tongue across your teeth. If left unchecked, gingivitis continues to thrive until it forms deep gum pockets where it deteriorates gum tissue from inflammation, bleeding, and pain. When gingivitis is found, treatment can be done, and your gums can heal. You might have gum disease if you see the following:
- Red, bleeding gums
- Gum pain
- Sour taste in your mouth
- Mouth sores that won’t heal
If your gum is aggressive, your gum tissue recession steadily worsens. It can also happen in young people because of vitamin deficiency (rather than just bacterial infection). Any advancing gum disease needs treatment as early as possible to avoid losing your teeth to periodontitis. And it is not just because unhealthy teeth and gums make you look older or because replacing teeth is costly; it is because it affects your smile and your body! Gum inflammation travels through your bloodstream to cause additional inflammatory conditions in your body, including heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune issues.
So what can you do to ensure healthy gums?
Address oral bacteria build-up
Daily brushing, flossing and using an antibacterial mouthwash help minimize germs. Otherwise, they collect and harden from plaque into tartar or calculus. Do not neglect to brush or scrape your tongue every day because it is a large surface that can hold onto bacteria. Your routine dental checkups and cleanings help get rid of tartar and calculus using special instruments. We can even recommend some devices you can use to remove oral bacteria from your teeth and tongue.
Build up your body’s immune system
Help your body resist infection so it can’t strengthen and spread. You will need vitamin C to lower inflammation (which can cause red, bleeding gums). Eat fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens. You can get Vitamin B12 from milk, eggs, and meat, as well as B12 from fortified bread, pasta, and cereals. Omega-3 fatty acids (flaxseed oil and fish are great sources) also fight inflammation and boost gum health. If your diet is restricted, you can also take supplements for vitamin C, B12, and Omega 3.
If you have noticed that your gums are bleeding and regular, gentle flossing around the gum line and between teeth is not helping, you may need treatment. Depending on the stage of gum disease you are fighting, you may need to visit a dentist, periodontist, or endodontist to stop the bleeding and make sure your gums are not receding or leading to bone loss and tooth loss.
This year, do not let gum disease cause tooth loss in your smile. You can achieve healthy teeth and gums. Our experienced team is here to help ensure your smile and overall health are as healthy as possible!