September is National Gum Care Month
Not counting wisdom teeth, the average person age 20-39 is missing one tooth, the average 40-49-year old is missing 3.5 teeth, and those aged over 60 are missing 8 teeth– and this is usually because of gum disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease (more commonly referred to as gum disease) is the result of an infection and inflammation of the gums, ligaments and bone around the teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Gingivitis and periodontitis are two forms of gum disease, both of which are caused by bacterial infection in your gums. Gingivitis is a mild form of the disease that causes gum pain and bleeding. If left untreated, it can advance to its more dangerous form, periodontitis.
Why does it matter? The #1 reason for us is that periodontitis is the most common cause of teeth falling out.
Working to Maintain Gum Health
1. Brush Thoroughly
Brush thoroughly with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, brushing on and around the gum line.
2. Replace Toothbrushes Often
Replace toothbrushes often, since frayed bristles don’t clean as well (and old brushes can harbor bacteria).
3. Floss once a day
If you are too tired to do it at night or feel too rushed in the morning, flossing at work after lunch is a good habit to develop.
4. Stop Smoking and Vaping
Consider quitting, as tobacco use increases the risk of gum disease and makes it harder for gum tissue to heal.
5. Fix Dry Mouth
Dry Mouth creates an environment where bacteria thrive, try to sip water throughout the day, chew sugarless gum, or suck on sugarless lozenges.
6. Go To The Dentist Regularly
Schedule routine dental checkups and regular professional cleanings based on your dentist’s recommendation.
Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash can reduce bacteria in the mouth.
8. Diabetes Patients
Keeping diabetes under control is important, since high sugar levels can heighten the risk for gum disease.
9. Good Nutrition
Practicing good nutrition and opting for healthy foods can help lower the risk of gum disease. Bacteria love sugar!