Keeping up with your gum health can prevent painful and unsightly gum disease. With regular trips to the general dentist in San Francisco and these healthy oral help tips, you can avoid more severe cases of gingivitis.
What Is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease. It starts with the build-up of food particles and bacteria. This build-up turns into plaque, a sticky substance of bacteria that works its way into the gumline.
Early signs of infection include:
- Tender to the touch
- Red and swollen
- Bleeds easily
When gingivitis worsens into more severe stages of gum disease, the infection spreads further into the gum and bone. Even though it is a gum disease, this also causes tooth decay.
The late stage of gum disease is periodontitis. Without seeing a periodontist in California, the condition ruins your gums, bone, and tissues in the mouth. It can impact your ability to bite and chew and may leave you needing teeth extractions.
What Do Healthy Gums Look Like?
Healthy gums look firm and pink. They won’t bleed or be painful when brushing or flossing.
A healthy smile and pain-free chewing isn’t the only benefit to maintaining gum health. Proper oral hygiene has been linked to reducing chronic health issues, such as diabetes and heart disease. When you pay attention to your oral health, you’re improving your overall well-being.
How to Improve and Maintain Your Gum Health
Starting the right routine for oral care will reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar and improve your gum health.
1. Teeth Brushing
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is a great way to begin. However, for the best results, you should brush your teeth after each meal. This removes particles of food and plaque between your teeth and gums.
Using a fluoride toothpaste reduces the chances of gingivitis even further. Fluoride treatments at the dentist or at home freshen your breath, whiten teeth, and improve gum health.
There are many helpful aids and apps to help you brush your teeth properly, from timers to electric toothbrushes. But these tricks only help so much. Seeing your general dentist gives you insight into the best techniques and what spots you tend to miss when brushing your teeth.
Flossing between your teeth should happen at least once a day. But as with brushing, you can floss your teeth more often to decrease build-up. Flossing removes stubborn food particles and plaque that aren’t reachable by brushing.
3. Use Mouthwash
There are many options for mouthwash from daily antibacterial to gingival and advanced formulas. Mouthwash will kill bacteria living in your mouth on teeth, gums, and soft tissues. Using this in addition to teeth brushing and flossing keeps your teeth and gums healthy.
Due to the strength of mouthwash, it should not be overused. Mouthwash used a few times a week will do the trick.
4. Routine Dental Cleanings
Depending on your oral health, your dentist will recommend how often you should go in for regular teeth cleanings. A study by the American Dental Association (ADA) found that low-risk patients get benefits from cleanings once a year. Other patients are generally recommended to receive treatment every six months.
What to Avoid
Along with maintaining a cleaning regiment, there are specific habits to avoid that can increase the chances of gum disease and tooth decay.
Smoking and chewing tobacco are associated with gum disease. These habits lower your immune system making it more difficult to fight off gingivitis and other diseases.
Consuming sugary drinks and foods also increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Bacteria feed off of these sugars and reproduce. Combined with subpar oral hygiene, the build-up quickly turns into gum disease.
Maintain Healthy Gums at Zeal Dentistry
Zeal Dentistry provides preventative dentistry services and periodontal services in San Francisco, California. Whether you need routine dental care or have a problem, our caring staff provide the services you need.
Services at Zeal Dentistry include: