When your gums become inflamed, you can develop gingivitis. Without treatment, this inflammation can soon lead to the onset of gum disease. Over time, periodontal disease can lead to a number of uncomfortable symptoms, as well as a greater risk of adult tooth loss. How do you avoid gingivitis? What can you do to protect your smile from inflammation?
4 Steps to Avoid Gingivitis
- Brush your teeth: When you brush your teeth you help reduce the amount of plaque on your teeth. Since plaque buildup can cause inflammation, brushing your teeth twice a day can help reduce the risk of gingivitis. We recommend using a toothbrush with soft or medium bristles, as brushing too vigorously with hard bristles can irritate the gums and even wear away tooth enamel.
- Always floss: You should floss your teeth every night before going to bed. When you floss, you remove food particles from between your teeth. Otherwise, the food particles would be broken down by bacteria, creating plaque buildup and inflaming the gums.
- Stop smoking: Smoking can lead to gingivitis and increase the severity of gum disease, making periodontitis more likely. An advanced form of gum disease, periodontitis can lead to adult tooth loss. In addition, using tobacco products can also increase the risk of oral cancer, throat cancer, lung cancer, bad breath, and other serious concerns. We recommend all patients either quit or avoid tobacco products.
- Don’t ignore warning signs: Patients with gum inflammation may notice the gum tissue appears more red than usual or feels sore. The gums may also bleed easily when you brush and floss your teeth. Don’t ignore these potential warning signs, instead contact your dentist to schedule a consultation. The doctor can examine your gums and diagnose the problem, recommending the appropriate treatment to help you avoid the onset of gum disease.