5 Ways To Treat Gum Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a condition in which the gums, deeper supporting tissues, and even the bone surrounding teeth become infected. The first stage is a build-up of plaque on the teeth. If plaque is not properly removed by brushing and flossing, it accumulates and hardens underneath the gum line into tartar – a hard white material that can be visible if stained yellow by tea, coffee or smoking. Once tartar builds up, it is much more difficult to remove than plaque and usually requires cleaning by a dentist. Over time, it can lead to inflamed gums, or gingivitis, and they will bleed with brushing or flossing.
- Brush your teeth twice a day: If you are unable to keep a regular brushing schedule, set a reminder in your phone or computer so you don’t forget. When you brush your teeth, keep in mind that it shouldn’t be a rush job. You should brush thoroughly for at least two minutes.
- Floss once daily: Don’t wait until you feel debris between your teeth and floss at least once a day.
- Swish with mouthwash: Since you are already brushing twice a day, add mouthwash to your routine. Mouthwash will remove any remaining debris that brushing and flossing cannot. When you use mouthwash remember to swish it around in your mouth for at least thirty seconds to really get it going. Do not swallow mouthwash, it could give you a stomach-ache and you’ll be swallowing all the plaque you’re trying to get rid of.
- Check your gums regularly: Shine a flashlight into your mouth and see if your gums are red in the area around your teeth. Do they bleed when you floss? Do you have chronic bad breath or notice a metallic taste in your mouth? Are your gums puffy or sore? These are all early signs of gum disease and need to be taken care of ASAP.
- Go to the dentist every six months: Regular cleaning and checkups can help prevent gum disease.