Gum disease affects about 50% of the US population, making it a very common health issue. While its earliest symptoms are mild, it can eventually lead to serious gum damage and even tooth loss. Additionally, recent research has shown a relationship between this disease and even more serious overall health issues. Keep reading to learn how gum disease can affect you and the best ways to prevent it from an expert dentist.
How Can Gum Disease Affect Me?
Gum disease is an inflammation and infection of your gums, supportive tissue, and bone. It is usually caused by plaque buildup from poor oral healthcare. In its earliest stage, gingivitis, you may notice symptoms like red, puffy, bleeding, or tender gums. This stage can typically be reversed through a good oral healthcare routine and dental visits. However, if left untreated, gum disease can lead to permanent damage and tooth loss.
Recent studies have also shown a link between gum disease and heart disease. It causes an increased risk of heart attack and stroke as well as diabetes, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s.
How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
Thankfully, gum disease can be completely prevented if you utilize these tips:
Try an Electric Toothbrush
Because plaque is a leading cause of gum disease, anything you can do to clean your mouth better will help. Electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque than manual ones, so you can try out a new brush to protect your gums.
Use Antimicrobial Mouthwash
An antimicrobial mouthwash can help clean away bacteria that your brushing and flossing routine couldn’t reach. Try to pick a mouthwash without alcohol because it can dry out your mouth. A dry mouth promotes the growth of bacteria that can increase your risk of gum disease.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
To combat dry mouth, you can chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva flow. Saliva naturally washes away plaque and bacteria that can cause issues in your mouth. You can also drink water throughout the day to keep your mouth hydrated and teeth clean.
Eat More Onions
While onions may cause some bad breath, they’re actually incredibly good for your gums. They contain antimicrobial properties that target bacteria, which contributes to gum disease. You can try incorporating onions into some of your favorite meals for an extra boost of protection.
If you smoke or use tobacco products, you’re doing damage to your body, teeth, and of course, gums. Additionally, tobacco use makes it harder for your gum tissue to recover if it is damaged, which is another reason why you should avoid it altogether.
Use these tips to keep your gums and body healthy. You should also remember to schedule biannual checkups and cleanings to prevent and detect any oral health issues.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Nicholas Brong is a family dentist who has a passion for preventing gum disease. That’s why he’s provided some of the best ways you can keep your gums and mouth healthy. He currently practices at Zumbro Family Dental, and he can be contacted through his website or by phone at (507) 288-1066 for any questions.