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    Spotlight on Gum Care: Keeping Gums Healthy for Life

    by Saunders DDS on October 9, 2017

    Focusing on caring for your teeth is important, but your gums need some attention too.

    Your gums play an important role in your smile—their connective tissue actually helps anchor the teeth into place. Without your gums, teeth would be able to fall out much more easily. Gums help nourish and protect teeth from damage and keep them secure and strong for everyday use over your lifetime.

    Keeping your gums healthy is essential to keeping up with your oral health. Since over 47% of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease, gum health should be as much of a priority as taking care of your teeth.

    So how can you keep your gums healthy enough to support your teeth? We’ve compiled a list of best practices to support your best smile!

    Brush and Floss Daily

    Of course, brushing and flossing should be part of your normal oral care routine. To protect gums while brushing, choose a toothbrush with soft bristles rather than a toothbrush with firm ones. This is because harder bristles can damage gum tissue as well as tooth enamel over time.

    It’s also important to replace your toothbrush every three months as recommended by the American Dental Association. If your toothbrush is frayed, this could damage your gums.  Keep a spare toothbrush on hand so you can make replacement easy!

    Flossing also protects your gums by removing plaque in between the teeth.  If you haven’t flossed in a while, you may experience gingival bleeding, but maintaining a routine should alleviate this discomfort. Flossing is essential for removing plaque near the gumline and protecting your gum tissue from harmful bacteria that could lead to infection or decay.

    Schedule Regular Checkups

    Getting routine checkups and professional cleanings with your dentist in Asheville can help keep your gums healthy and prevent gum disease. During your visit, your Asheville dentist will remove any plaque and tartar that is present and talk with you about how you can better care for your teeth and gums. By routinely removing the bacterial flora in you mouth, your smile can remain as healthy as possible.

    Although each person’s smile is unique, it’s a good idea to schedule a visit to your dentist every six months. If your Asheville dentist feels that you need to come more or less often, you can discuss this during your visit. We want you to receive the best care possible with us during your appointment to help keep your teeth and gums healthy!

    Stop Using Tobacco Products

    Smoking is a huge risk factor when it comes to gum disease. In fact, smoking or chewing tobacco has been shown to double your risk of gum disease compared to people who don’t use tobacco.

    Your gums are particularly susceptible to damage from cigarette smoke or chewing tobacco because they have direct contact with it. It can damage the ligaments that help hold your teeth in place, starve blood vessels of oxygen, and even lead to loss of bone in the jaw.

    If you smoke, you should ideally visit the dentist more often to get regular checkups and cleanings, and to begin receiving oral cancer screenings.

    Talk to your dentist in Asheville about quitting this habit. There is help and support for quitting smoking. You’ll have better breath, prevent tooth staining, and protect your smile from oral cancer and gum disease. You can also save $1,000 every year by not smoking!

    When you stop smoking, you enable your entire body to be healthier, making it easier to take care of yourself. Your gum tissue will thank you as well!

    Eat Nutritious Foods

    Eating healthy foods can help you maintain your gum health too. This includes foods that are high in calcium and vitamin C. Since gum disease has been linked to heart disease and diabetes, you can help improve your entire bodily health just by taking care of your smile.

    Some of the best foods to eat to promote oral health include fresh leafy greens, apples, yogurt and cheese, and healthy fats such as fish, avocados, and nuts. Drinking enough water is also crucial, as this can help improve the bacteria balance in your mouth and cut down on plaque formation.

    When it comes to keeping gums healthy, your diet can be instrumental. Cutting down on sugar and processed foods can set you up for a great smile for life.

    Know the Symptoms of Gum Disease

    To protect your gums, knowing the symptoms of gum disease could save your smile. There are different stages of gum disease, so catching this disease early could help you avoid extensive treatment and get your habits back on track to prevent permanent damage.

    Among the signs and symptoms of gum disease include:

    • Chronic bad breath, even after brushing
    • Bleeding gums while brushing
    • Receding gums, or the appearance of “longer” teeth
    • Gums that appear red and irritated
    • Swollen gums that may be tender to the touch
    • Loose teeth

    If you’re at all worried that you’re seeing signs of gum disease, schedule an appointment with your Asheville dentist. Addressing gum disease as soon as possible can help you recover faster and have a healthier smile. Be aware of these signs and symptoms as you take care of your teeth every day—symptoms of gum disease can sneak up on you!

     

    Taking care of your gums requires attention, but not much extra effort than taking care of your teeth!  It is important to prevent gum disease in order to help support beautiful strong teeth for life. By protecting your gums, you can prevent tooth loss and keep your smile beautiful.

    Simply by brushing, flossing, visiting your dentist, eating right, and not smoking, you can protect your gums from disease. Don’t forget to be on the lookout for symptoms of gum disease—since it’s so common, you should be aware of what to look for. Your dentist can further help you develop a long-term care plan for your smile!

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