Although cases of gum disease have been on the decline due to improved access to precise dental care, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t susceptible to some form of periodontal disease. Brushing and flossing two to three times a day is the best way to keep your gums healthy, as well as watching your diet and staying away from acidic and sugary foods & drinks. From the perspective of a dentist, we can see how easy it is to forget to floss occasionally but neglecting the responsibility isn’t worth the risk. Here are the top reasons gum health is so important, and some tips to keep your gums in great shape.
The Health of Your Heart
Gum disease is an inflammatory disease and studies have indicated that it can also boost levels of inflammation in different parts of your body. Should inflammation levels in and around your heart spike, the risk of a stroke is much higher, and your risk of contracting heart disease is also increased.
The Health of Your Lungs
Some studies have shown that the healthier your gums are, the healthier your lungs are. For individuals with lung conditions, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ensuring that you floss and brush every single day will encourage lung health and your ability to breathe. Gum disease creates bacteria that can be ingested through breathing. When you inhale harmful bacteria, some of those germs may make their way to your respiratory system, which could perpetuate illnesses like pneumonia.
Prevent Pain While Eating
Inflamed gums certainly make it harder to consume healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. Firstly, the risk of losing a tooth is significantly higher for individuals with periodontal disease, but it also makes it much more painful to bite through crunchy foods or drink hot or cool beverages. This can create a domino effect; if your gum pain is preventing you from eating fruits and vegetables, it could lead to improper nourishment which could induce feelings of lethargy, nausea, and vertigo.
How to Improve Your Gum Health
It’s never too late to make the health of your gums a priority, and the sooner you enact these practices to your oral hygiene routine, the sooner you will see results and the better you will feel. Here are a few things you can do to promote healthy gums:
• 2-3 times a day, use toothpaste containing fluoride and brush along your gums as well as the surface of your teeth.
• Change your toothbrush every two months to ensure your gums are receiving quality care
• Use antibacterial mouthwash once a day
• Reduce sugar intake
• Quit using tobacco products
• Visit your dentist once to twice a year; twice is recommended for individuals with inflamed gums or other adverse medical conditions.