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How to Take Care of Your Gums
How to Take Care of Your Gums

When it comes to keeping your mouth healthy, it’s not only about how straight or white or cavity-free your teeth are. Your gums are equally important!

Even if you have a perfect set of teeth, this doesn’t mean you’re immune to gum disease. Most people with gum disease don’t realize that anything is wrong with their gums, since it’s usually painless and not very obvious.

How Does Gum Disease Develop?

Gum disease starts when plaque (the sticky stuff that forms when bacteria collects on the surface of the teeth) builds up under and along the gum line. The bacteria in the plaque can cause infections that hurt the gum and bone, and it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

The plaque can also harden into tartar if left untreated. Unlike plaque, which is sticky, tartar is rough and porous and can lead to receding gums and gum disease.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

The initial symptoms of gum disease are usually red and swollen gums which are prone to bleeding after brushing or flossing. This stage of gum disease is called gingivitis.

If gingivitis is left untreated, the other tissues and bone that support the teeth can also become affected. This is known as periodontitis – and symptoms include an unpleasant taste in your mouth, bad breath, loose teeth, and gums that are tender, red, or swollen.

Practicing Good Oral Hygiene

The best way to prevent gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene every day. This involves the following:

Brush

Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day – especially last thing at night before you go to bed. Brushing helps to remove the plaque trapped between your teeth and gums.

Use Fluoride Toothpaste

There are lots of different toothpastes on the market today, but using a toothpaste that contains the right amount of fluoride is what is important. Fluoride is a natural mineral that effectively protects against tooth decay and gum disease.

Rinse

Using mouthwash can help reduce plaque and remove food particles and debris from your mouth, including from your gums. Just keep in mind that it is to be in addition to, not instead of, brushing and flossing.

Floss

Floss your teeth at least once a day. This helps to remove the plaque and any food debris that your toothbrush can’t reach.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is strongly associated with the onset of gum disease. Studies have shown that smokers have more tartar buildup than nonsmokers, which may be the result of a decreased flow of saliva.

Smokers also tend to have more severe bone loss and are much more likely to suffer gum destruction than nonsmokers. Not only does smoking increase the chance that you will develop gum disease, but it makes treatment much more difficult because smoking weakens your immune system – making it more difficult for damaged gums to heal.

Get Regular Dental Checkups and Cleanings

Regularly visiting your dentist ensures that any early symptoms of gum disease are detected. That way, they can be treated before they get more serious.

A professional cleaning helps to remove any plaque you have missed when brushing or flossing, and it is the only way to remove tartar effectively. If you have gingivitis, regular dental cleanings can help reverse it.

Family Dentist in Merced, CA

Whether you have symptoms of gum disease, have concerns about your teeth or gums, or are just looking for an excellent dentist, our friendly staff at El Portal Dental Group welcomes your call and looks forward to serving you.

We offer general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and orthodontic dentistry services of all kinds. If you would like to schedule an appointment or consultation, please call our office today at (209) 385-1479 or fill out our appointment request form. Let us help you enjoy excellent oral health for a lifetime.




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