The 6 Best Things You Can Do to Maintain Healthy Gums
At Sixth Street Dental Aesthetics, we know one thing for sure: a beautiful smile is nothing if it’s not a healthy smile. That’s why we work hard to tackle our patients’ smiles and oral health holistically, focusing on general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and facial aesthetics. A healthy and beautiful smile starts at the source, which forces us to stress gum health to our patients. With a lingering threat of gingivitis and gum disease talked about frequently, many of our patients ask us what they can do to ensure proper oral and gum health before issues arise. The leading dentist in Pittsburgh, PA - Sixth Street Dental Aesthetics - is here to break down exactly why your gum health matters and provide you with six tips for keeping your gums healthy so that you can have a smile that is beautiful and healthy for years to come.
Why does gum health matter?
A Dentist in Pittsburgh, PA Stresses the Importance of Gum Health
We’ve all been told by a dentist in Pittsburgh, PA about how important our gums are to maintaining a healthy smile, but know what each oral health issue actually entails is not something many of us are fully informed on. Issues with your gums are most often caused by plaque buildup along the gumline. Even with regular brushing, you may not be able to remove all the plaque from your mouth because plaque is extremely sticky and viscous, making it build upon itself and cause issues on the gums and teeth,
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and typically manifests as inflamed, tender, red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Luckily, gingivitis is a reversible condition that is easy to spot. When not treated early, gingivitis can advance into gum disease. Gum disease not only affects the health of your gums - a vital tissue for maintaining your health as a whole - but can cause tooth decay. Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease that affects both the gums and the bones that hold the teeth down. In its advanced form, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and ongoing oral health issues.
In other words, your gums matter. Taking care of your gums is the key to making sure you have a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come.
Tips from a Dentist in Pittsburgh, PA for Healthy Gums
Since gum disease and gingivitis are caused by plaque buildup around the gums, it’s important to do what you can to remove plaque from your teeth and gum. Brushing alone isn’t able to get all of the plaque off your teeth, which is why flossing is the key to maintaining healthy gums (we’re sure you would have never guessed that a dentist in Pittsburgh, PA encourages you to floss). Flossing after meals and/or before brushing your teeth can help remove plaque and food particles and keep your gums healthy.
Attend Regular Cleanings
There’s a reason that your dentist in Pittsburgh, PA encourages you to come in for a checkup and cleaning every six months. Your dentist sees you twice a year to ensure that your mouth isn’t afflicted by cavities, gingivitis, and other oral health issues. Additionally, your dental cleaning is designed to remove as much plaque from your teeth as possible, making it possible for your dentist to prevent gum issues and cavities before they appear. Additionally, seeing your dentist every six months acts as a friendly reminder to continuously switch out your toothbrush for a fresh one with bristles strong and effective enough to remove plaque.
One of the best ways to slowly chip away at your plaque buildup over time is by beginning to drybrush. Dry Brushing is exactly what it sounds like: brushing your teeth with a completely dry toothbrush for 10-15 minutes a day. This can be done while sitting on the couch, getting ready for bed, or working on homework and is one of the best ways to remove plaque at home. The dry bristles are able to get a better grip on the plaque and wash it away, leaving you with the best results possible.
Smoking is a leading cause of gum disease because it leads to bacteria growth in your mouth that can lead to faster formation of plaque. Additionally, smoking weakens your immune system, making it difficult to fight off gum infections like gingivitis and lead to more advanced stages of gum disease. In other words, quitting smoking may be one of the best ways to prevent gum issues — and improve your overall health!
Brush with Fluoride Toothpaste
While fluoride in toothpaste is designed to strengthen enamel and prevent cavities, some evidence shows that the use of fluoride toothpaste can prevent gum issues as well. Fluoride has the ability to stop plaque organisms from creating the acids necessary to thrive in the mouth, reducing the amount of plaque in your mouth as a whole. Additionally, frequent brushing can keep plaque from sticking to your teeth in the first place.
In addition to dental habits, eating right can keep plaque from sticking to and forming on your teeth. Some of the best food for fighting plaque include ginger and apples. Additionally, high Calcium intake can help maintain healthy teeth and gums. If your diet is short on calcium and other nutrients like fiber, a dentist in Pittsburgh, PA recommends supplementing your vitamin intake.
Think it’s time you start paying extra attention to your oral health? Get in touch with the team at Sixth Street Dental Aesthetics today to schedule an appointment and get started.