Your gums are just as important as your teeth. Not only do they hold your teeth in place and help with eating, but they also play a vital role in your overall health. If you’re not taking the time to give your gums the attention they need, you could be placing yourself at risk of developing gum disease – an infection of the tissues that leads to tooth loss. To find out more, here is everything you should know about gum disease and how you can prevent it.

It Is More Common Than You Think

Gum disease is one of the most common dental problems, impacting nearly seven out of ten Canadians, according to the Canadian Dental Association. That means that at least one person in your family will likely develop gum disease at a point in their lives. This is why it is crucial to ensure that your family members are visiting the dentist regularly.

Gum Disease Starts With Plaque

It takes time to develop gum disease. At first, it starts off with a build-up of plaque that occurs from improper and infrequent brushing. As it hardens into tartar, bacteria and acids start to form causing your gums to be inflamed – also known as gingivitis. If not treated, it begins to develop into an infection, and your gums start to bleed more regularly. As time goes on, the virus seriously damages the gum tissue, resulting in gum disease.

Prevention Starts With Routine

To prevent gum disease, it’s essential to have a daily routine that includes brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, and flossing at least once every 24 hours. Establishing and maintaining preventative care can help prevent plaque build-up before it leads to gum disease. Most importantly, you must visit your dentist for regular dental checkups every few months. Only a dentist can detect the early signs of gum disease and provide the necessary treatments.

How You Brush and Floss Matters

There is a right way to brush and a wrong way. That goes for flossing, too. Proper dental care starts with flossing, followed by brushing, and then rinsing with mouthwash afterwards. To floss correctly, you need to use about an arm’s length of floss wrapped around your finger. Wrap the floss into a C shape around each tooth and move it gently up and down into the gum line. To ensure you’re brushing correctly, use a 45-degree angle in a circular motion when cleaning the outside of your teeth, and a flicking motion when scrubbing the back side. Make sure to brush gently and for approximately two minutes with a soft toothbrush head, and then rinse with mouthwash to finish.

Your Dentist Knows Best

If you are in the early stages of gum disease, it’s important to listen to your dentist and follow their recommendations and treatment plan. If they refer you to a periodontist, this specialist specializes in gum disease and will know how to restore your gums and protect your teeth.

At The Teal Umbrella, every dental checkup includes a thorough examination of your gums. If we find anything concerning, we’ll provide the appropriate education and even offer a wide range of gum treatments such as laser, grafting and pocket reduction. If necessary, we can work directly with specialists to ensure you get the most comprehensive dental care possible.