Did you know that aboutage 30 and older have periodontal disease? This number jumps up to 70.1% for Americans age 65 and older.
The good news is that gum disease is preventable. Even gingivitis (gum inflammation) is reversible with good oral hygiene. By changing your daily habits, you’ll be able to maintain healthy pink gums for life.
Here’s how to get started.
1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Your best defense against gum disease is practicing good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. You should also floss your teeth once a day to remove any plaque or food particles caught between teeth.
Brushing and flossing your teeth will remove plaque before it hardens into tartar.
2. Get Enough Vitamin C
Bleeding gums is one of the top signs of gingivitis. But it could also be a sign that you’re not getting enough vitamin C in your diet. To increase your vitamin C intake, eat nutrient-rich foods like kale, oranges, and kiwis. You may also ask your doctor if a vitamin C supplement could help.
3. Reduce Your Sugar Intake
The bacteria that’s responsible for causing gum disease loves to eat sugar. In return, it produces an acid that erodes your enamel and attacks your gums.
While it’s a good idea to reduce how much sugar you consume, changing your diet is easier said than done. That’s why we recommend making small, sustainable changes to your diet over time. For example, reducing how much pop you drink can help improve your gum health over time.
4. Drink Water
Your saliva helps rinse away food particles and plaque. That’s why it’s important that you stay hydrated, especially during the summer months. You should also tell our dentists if you’re taking any medications that give you dry mouth.
5. Avoid Tobacco
Smokers areto get gum disease compared to non-smokers. This is because smoking lowers your body’s ability to fight infections. It also makes it more difficult for your gums to heal.
We recommend staying away from all sources of tobacco, such as chewing tobacco and cigars. Also, avoid e-cigarettes since they contain nicotine, which comes from tobacco.
6. Teeth Cleanings
It’s important that you see our dentists on a regular basis for preventive care. While you can remove plaque at home, only a dental professional will be able to remove tartar.
In general, we recommend that you get a teeth cleaning at least every 6 months. Although, you may need to see our dentists more often if you have a chronic dental condition. For example, patients with periodontitis may need to see our dentists every 3 to 4 months.
A teeth cleaning is also a good opportunity for us to spot the signs of gingivitis (gum inflammation). For example, one of our hygienists may notice that your gums bleed a little while flossing.
The sooner we’re able to spot gum issues, the sooner we’ll be able to help you restore your oral health.
Request an Appointment With Us
Our family dentists in Holland, MI, are accepting new patients. They’d also be more than happy to help you maintain a healthy, attractive smile for life.
Ready to request an appointment? Have questions about gum disease treatment? Please call the Lakeshore Dentistry & Implant Center at (616) 399-3946. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.
This blog post has been updated.