When most people think about oral health, their first thought tends to be about their teeth. Are they clean and free of plaque and debris? Are they healthy, white, and in proper alignment? These are all important concerns, of course, but they’re not the be-all and end-all of oral health management. In fact, your gums are every bit as important when it comes to maintaining sound dental health – as gingivitis and periodontal disease can have a dramatically negative impact on your entire mouth. To avoid those negative effects, you should prioritize gum disease prevention.
Periodontal disease can often be difficult to detect on your own. Symptoms can include everything from bad breath and pain during brushing to swollen or receding gums and loose teeth. Left untreated, this disease can cause your teeth to fall out. More severe cases can even potentially lead to other health complications. To prevent gum disease, prioritize the following lifestyle goals:
- Stop smoking. If you haven’t done so already, now is the perfect time to give up that tobacco habit. Research indicates that regular tobacco use can double your chances of developing gum disease.
- Commit to brushing and flossing. Make a schedule to ensure that you’re caring for your teeth at least twice a day. For best results, try using a dry brush to help loosen plaque before brushing again with your toothpaste. Don’t forget to brush the gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth too – since any bacteria that you leave in those areas could come back to haunt you later.
- Consider making changes in the amount of sugar that you consume. Sugar is present in many of the foods that most Americans eat on a daily basis, and it can lead to all manner of problems. Of course, if you simply must have sugary foods and drinks, at least be sure to brush thoroughly after consuming it.
- Check to see if you need orthodontic care. If your teeth are out of alignment, your brushing efforts may not be accomplishing your goals. Thanks to new technology, adults can now enjoy straighter teeth without resorting to traditional braces.
- Don’t skip those dentist appointments! There’s only so much that you can do to prevent gum disease through at-home care and lifestyle modifications. To enjoy truly effective prevention, you need to have your teeth and gums cared for by a professional. Your dentist can help you to ensure that any potential signs of periodontal disease are caught early enough to prevent serious damage to the teeth and gums.
At Ebenezer Dental, we’re committed to helping our patients enjoy the benefits that healthy teeth and gums can provide. Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime, and we’ll work with you to ensure that they remain as healthy as possible. Give us a call to schedule your appointment with the best dentist in midtown Manhattan, and we’ll help you learn what you need to know to protect yourself against gum disease and other oral health concerns.