Practicing good oral hygiene can help prevent gum disease. Most people tend to have a bright, white smile and don't look into the health of their gums. However, it is essential to note that healthy teeth require healthy gums.
Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support our teeth. This infection can cause the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. When gum disease is left untreated, it can develop into a serious infection called periodontitis.
Periodontitis is an infection that causes the supporting tissues and bone to deteriorate. This deterioration can cause teeth to loosen and even fall out.
Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and flossing are the best ways to keep your gums healthy. You should brush at least twice a day, for two minutes each time. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and replace it every two months to prevent bacteria from building up. Flossing should be done at least once a day.
Regular Dental Cleanings
Getting your dental cleanings every six months is a great way to keep your gums healthy. Your dental cleaning removes plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth and along the gum line. Our dentist in Oakland, CA, will also polish your teeth and apply fluoride to help protect against tooth decay.
Smoking is one of the major causes of gum disease. Not only does smoking make your gums more susceptible to gum disease, but it also reduces your mouth's ability to fight infection. When you quit smoking, your gums may bleed and swell. If you continue to smoke, your gums will recede. In extreme cases, this can lead to tooth loss.
Quit Chewing Tobacco
Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can cause gum disease and tooth discoloration. Both are toxins that irritate gums and cause them to bleed easily. The toxins can also stain your teeth, giving them a yellow hue.
When you quit tobacco, your gums will heal. Quitting can be hard, but your dentist in Oakland, CA, can give you support and resources.
Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks
Some foods and drinks can damage your teeth and weaken your enamel. This includes sugary treats, including candy, lollipops, and cake. Try to avoid these types of foods, or at least limit how often you consume them.
Use an Antiseptic Mouthwash
An antiseptic mouthwash helps keep your mouth clean. While it's not a substitute for regular brushing and flossing, it can kill the bacteria that cause bad breath. It can also prevent these bacteria from building up on your teeth. Look for an antibacterial rinse with ingredients like hydrogen peroxide, cetylpyridinium chloride, and thymol, which can be effective without causing harm to your enamel or gums.
To learn more about best practices for oral health, call Bay Area Dental at (510) 350-8187 or visit our dental office at 3300 Webster Street, #907, Oakland, CA 94609. Book your appointment with our dentist in Oakland, CA, to achieve the smile you have always wished for.