September is National Gum Care Month!
How To Improve Your Gum Health & Celebrate All Year ‘Round
Bright white teeth and minty fresh breath are great, but if you’re seeking the true sign of great oral hygiene, look no further than the gums. Pink, firm and smooth – these are the telltale signs of a healthy mouth. And, as September approaches, we are gearing up for this year’s National Gum Care Month by showing you some of the easy things you can do to protect your gums and your overall health!
The Oldest Trick In The Book: Floss Once, Brush Twice
You’ve heard it a million times before, but the single best way to protect your gums from disease is to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. However, it isn’t enough to just jam your toothbrush in there and rinse; be mindful of your brushing! Instead of scrubbing horizontally, brush vertically and/or in a controlled circular motion. This strategy can help prevent receding gums and cut down on bacteria that may build up between the tooth and the gums. If you don’t feel like thinking about it too much, an electric toothbrush can do the work for you!
Another way to get to that bacteria? Floss daily! By taking just a minute or two out of your day, you can protect your oral health for life.
For an extra level of protection, pick up an ADA-approved therapeutic mouthwash! This step can help you clear out any extra debris or food particles that flossing and brushing may have missed, while also controlling bad breath and mitigating tooth decay.
Swing By Our Place (Or Your Local Dentist’s Office) Twice A Year
Gum disease can be quite progressive and damaging, which makes early detection incredibly important. By routinely visiting your dentist for regular checkups, you can partake in proactive deep cleanings every six months while we put our expertise to work to detect small signs of gum disease just in time for you to take action!
There’s a lot we can do to clean our teeth, however there are also few things we can cut down on (or eliminate completely) to be more proactive.
To improve your gum health:
- Quit smoking
- Stop vaping
- Consider weight management strategies
- Increase Vitamin C intake
- Avoid medications that cause dry mouth/tongue, if possible
The Impact Of The Gums On Overall Health
Elevated blood sugar (commonly found in patients with Diabetes) increases the risk of developing gum disease – also known as Periodontitis. But once gum disease has set in, it can make it even harder to control blood sugar, creating a downward spiral of oral and overall health.
Periodontitis can also be linked to respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis and even coronary artery disease. By protecting your gums, you’re protecting your body!
Gum Disease Symptoms: Listen to Your Mouth & Understand What It Is Telling You
In some circumstances, you may have gum disease without many (or any!) symptoms – but this isn’t all that common.
Experiencing swollen, puffy and inflamed gums that appear to be bright red or even purple? This is one of the most common signs of Periodontitis. You may also have gum disease if you’ve found yourself spitting blood after flossing/brushing, noticed consistently bad breath, seen new gaps in your teeth and/or started to experience pain while chewing.
If this is happening to you, get in touch with us at Merion Village Dental today! We’ll help you determine if this is, in fact, gum disease and then establish the next steps to help you combat it and prevent further damage.
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