The latest studies show that about 75% of American adults have some form of gum disease, and the majority of them do not even know that they have a periodontal issue or condition. The big problem with not being aware of and preventing the onset of gum disease is that if they are not detected and treated properly and immediately, the condition can worsen.
Gum disease has two types or stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is regarded as the “early gum disease” and it happens when there is a build-up of plaque on your teeth. The usual signs of gingivitis include bleeding, swelling and redness of the gums. If gingivitis is not treated correctly and immediately, it can worsen and develop into periodontitis, the advanced form of gum disease. The usual symptoms of periodontitis include gum bleeding, swelling, bad breath, loose teeth and receding gum lines.
To help prevent the onset of gum diseases and to maintain the healthy condition of your teeth, there are several basic periodontal care tips and practices that you already know but are probably not doing properly or regularly. The following are the common oral care practices that you should never take for granted and that you should regularly do to have a healthier set of teeth and gums:
- Brush at least twice a day and make sure you follow good brushing techniques. The correct brushing technique recommended by dentists pertains to positioning the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle where your teeth and gums meet and using firm pressure to insert the bristles between the two. Use this technique as well in brushing the surface of your teeth and inside it. And when it’s time to brush the inside areas of your lower and upper front teeth, hold the toothbrush vertically.
- Floss after each meal. There are certain areas in your mouth that the bristles of your toothbrush can’t fully reach or get into. And these areas are the usual ones where some food particles can get stuck in, and when they are not removed immediately, bacteria can feed on them and grow. But when you regularly floss, you immediately remove these food particles and you prevent the growth of these bacteria in your gums.
- Change your diet. This means avoiding the consumption of too much sugary and sweet food products. You also need to take in more vitamin C or foods that are rich in this particular nutrient. You can also start drinking more brewed tea and unsweetened cranberry juice because they prevent the growth of bacteria in the gums and teeth.
- Lastly, change your toothpaste. Look for and use toothpaste that has vitamin E, Allantonin and Triclosan since they help promote healthy gums by stimulating the growth of new tissues, and they reduce plaque and tartar build-up as well.