47.2% of all adults who are at least 30 years old have some form of gum disease, and that number increases to 70.1% for adults who are at least 75 years old.
Gingivitis is the least severe form of gum disease, but you should never ignore the soreness or bleeding it causes. It’s a painful, dangerous condition that starts in the mouth and can damage the health of your entire body.
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that’s true of gum disease. Read on for several effective methods of gingivitis prevention, including everything from recognizing the condition to proper oral hygiene practices and lifestyle changes.
Know How to Spot Gingivitis
Preventing gingivitis starts with realizing how the condition begins. It occurs when plaque and bacteria build up on the gums, also known as the gingiva.
Plaque is the most common cause of gingivitis, but other potential causes include:
- Hormonal changes
- Cancer, diabetes, HIV, and other diseases
- Poor diet
- Vitamin deficiencies
Gingivitis is the least severe form of gum disease, but it can lead to a more serious condition known as periodontitis. Look out for the symptoms to know if you should see a dentist or not.
Gingivitis can cause your gums to become inflamed. They may also bleed, change color, soften become tender, swell, or recede.
Other symptoms don’t relate directly to your gums. They include bad breath, loose or separating teeth, changes in your bite, and pus pockets between the teeth or gums.
Brush and Floss
Proper oral hygiene is the first and most important step in gum disease prevention because it prevents the buildup of plaque and bacteria that causes the condition.
Brush twice a day for at least 3-5 minutes. Place your brush at a 45º angle, and don’t forget the area around the gum line.
Use the Right Toothbrush
Electric toothbrushes aren’t necessarily more effective than manual ones, but you may want one if you have limited manual dexterity or hand-braces. You can also choose a proxy brush that’s shaped like a bottle and gets in hard-to-reach areas.
Buy 2 toothbrushes and alternate between them. Keep them clean and separate from one another to prevent germ transmission.
Store your toothbrushes in an upright position. Don’t put them in a closed container because these are prime areas for bacteria.
Dentists don’t all agree if mouthwash is effective at preventing gingivitis and other dental health conditions, but studies are starting to show that it can help.
Check the label and look for 2 main ingredients; cetyl pyridinium chloride and domiphen bromide. Both of them help fight dental plaque and
Consider Other Tools
Toothbrushes and mouthwashes aren’t the only weapons you can use for preventing gum disease. Several other tools remove plaque and clean your gums, adding to the effectiveness of your existing oral hygiene routine.
An oral irrigation device helps flush out your teeth if you direct the stream of water between them and not directly into your gums. You can also create a portable one with an ear string that you fill with water.
There are also several effective home remedies for gingivitis prevention. A 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide and water for 30 seconds cleans your mouth. Aloe gel can help heal your teeth and remove plaque.
Exercise and Drop Unhealthy Habits
Regular exercise lowers your risk of serious gum disease by 54%. Smoking is another factor because 64.2% of current smokers already have gum disease.
It’s best to both have an active lifestyle and give up smoking at the same time. They combine to have a more powerful effect than either lifestyle change could have on its own. They’re both effective gum disease prevention methods that also reduce your likelihood of conditions that affect the heart and lungs.
Eat and Drink Well
Get at least 800 milligrams of calcium per day. It strengthens every bone in your body, including your teeth and the alveolar bone in your jaw that keeps them in place.
Some of the most calcium-rich foods you can choose include:
- Raw vegetables
- Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Fish like sardines and canned salmon
- Beans and lentils
- Whey protein
- Leafy greens
- Fortified drinks or foods
What you drink is also important when deciding how to prevent gum disease. Staying away from sugary drinks prevents cavities and enamel erosion, and deciding what to replace them with is important.
Black and green tees are one of the best alternatives. They contain polyphenols that prevent plaque buildup, preventing gum disease as well.
Get Your Vitamins
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that can help heal bleeding gums. It may not reverse the damage of gingivitis, but it can prevent it from getting worse and developing into full-blown periodontitis.
Vitamin D is also essential because it reduces the inflammation that often comes with gingivitis. There are over 1 billion global deficiencies below the 600-800 milligrams.
These essential vitamins aren’t always easy to get through diet alone. Make sure to get outside to soak up vitamin D, and supplements may be necessary.
Get Regular Dental Care
Visit a Versailles dentist if you notice any gingivitis symptoms. They may need to provide treatments such as thorough cleanings or surgery if the condition has progressed far enough.
Your dentist can also advise you on how to prevent gingivitis. They’ll offer recommendations on how to brush, how well you’re brushing, what toothbrush or toothpaste to use, when to schedule appointments, what your insurance will cover.
More on Gingivitis Prevention
Gum disease is an all-too-common oral health condition that develops over time without the proper treatment and care. It starts as the more mild form, gingivitis, and develops into a dangerous condition known as periodontitis.
The best way to keep your gums healthy is to adopt several gingivitis prevention methods. Care for your teeth with the proper toothbrush and mouthwash. Adopt lifestyle changes such as exercising and giving up smoking. Visit your dentist when you notice symptoms and ask for their advice.
Read the rest of our content for more ways to maintain healthy teeth and gums.