If your gums are tender or swollen, you may have gum inflammation. Gum inflammation is caused when plaque builds up along your gums and even under them. If you have blood on your toothbrush or appear when you eat hard foods like apples, you might have gingivitis. Gingivitis is an early-stage gum disease that causes inflammation and may lead to periodontal disease, a more advanced gum disease. Periodontal disease begins with inflamed gums but can cause bad breath, gaps between teeth and gums, and even loose or missing teeth. Here’s how to prevent gum inflammation and keep your mouth healthy.
Brush Your Teeth Twice A Day
Brushing your teeth after breakfast in the morning and when going to bed at night will help remove plaque and reduce gum inflammation. Brushing keeps the bacteria in plaque from attacking your gums, which is why brushing after eating is recommended for eliminating both residual plaque and any food debris. You should brush for 2 minutes for each session, using a soft-bristled brush. Avoid brushing your teeth too harshly, as this can make your gums sore.
If you are using an electric toothbrush, make sure you change the head every three-four months and replace regular toothbrushes after the same amount of time. When brushing your teeth, remember to brush behind your front and back teeth, without scrubbing too harshly along the gum line. Brush the top, front, and rear of your teeth, as well as your gums and tongue, in a circular motion to cover all areas of the mouth.
Make Sure You Floss
Dental floss is the best way to get between your teeth and remove the build-up of plaque that could cause bacteria to gather and lead to inflamed gums. Flossing once a day will help keep your gums healthy. Flossing after brushing will help clear up anything that your regular brushing might have missed.
If you’ve got bridges or existing dental work that makes flossing uncomfortable, try using water flossers. Water flossers send bursts of water out that can wash out plaque from between your teeth. Dental picks are suitable for hard to reach areas. However, plaque or dental scraping should always be done by a trained Periodontist like Dr. I. Stephen Brown to avoid damaging your gums.
Visit Your Periodontist
Visiting The Perio Group for regular check-ups, dental scrapings, or advice on gum disease is the best way to prevent gum inflammation. Over time, plaque can build-up into a hard coating on your teeth called tartar, which can only be removed by a dental scraping from your periodontist. Tartar can accumulate below the gums and cause irritation, inflammation, and, eventually, periodontal disease.
For more advanced gum disease treatments, Dr. Brown is considered a pioneer in treating with non-surgical techniques. Using laser gum treatment, The Perio Group can safely target the plaque or tartar, removing them from along and underneath the gum line to restore your gums to a healthy and uninflamed state. The procedure is known as Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP) and is the perfect way to treat advanced gum disease without more invasive techniques or a scalpel.
Eat More Vitamin C, D, And Calcium
Vitamin C helps fight periodontal disease by boosting the immune system and enhancing its ability to fight infection. Consuming either vitamin C supplements or taking it from fruit like oranges or lemons will have the same effect of reducing bleeding gums and keeping them in a healthy state.
Recent studies suggest that vitamin D plays a massive role in periodontal care, from maintaining healthy gums and reducing inflammation to helping the mouth heal after periodontal treatments. There is also 2020 research showing that vitamin D reduces the number of oral bacteria that directly cause gum disease. Vitamin D is found in mushrooms, fish like tuna or anchovies, and other seafood like shrimp or oysters. Spending time in sunlight will also boost your vitamin D levels.
Calcium not only boosts the health of your teeth and gums, with studies supporting reduced gum disease for those regularly consuming calcium. Calcium is found in milk, cheese, and other dairy products, leafy greens like kale or spinach, and bread.
Make Healthier Lifestyle Choices
Quitting smoking and cutting back on alcohol and excess sugar can help reduce the impact of gum inflammation. Smoking weakens your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight gum disease and more difficult for your gums to recover from gingivitis or damage. According to the CDC, smoking doubles the risk of gum disease.
Alcohol dehydrates the mouth, leading to an increased risk of gum disease. Alcohol also increases the concentration of harmful bacteria in the mouth, leading to gum inflammation. Non Drinkers have a better mix of bacteria (and more ‘good’ bacteria), which is considered healthier for your gums.
High blood sugar levels can cause the blood vessels to constrict and become damaged, reducing blood flow to different parts of the body. This can affect your gums in the same way, limiting the amount of oxygen and nutrients that meet the gums and making them more prone to gum disease and other infections. That’s why individuals with diabetes have an increased risk of gum disease.
Other Treatments For Advanced Gum Disease
Dr. Brown offers many treatments to combat periodontal disease. We’ve already spoken about LANAP and laser treatments, but The Perio Group also offers gum regeneration treatment, promoting the body to produce healthy tissue. We will safely remove any bacteria causing the disease, then use tissue-promoting proteins or bone grafts to encourage your gums’ healthy regeneration. This will reduce the depth of the pockets between your gums and teeth, reducing the recurrence of bacteria alongside an excellent oral hygiene regime.
Dr. Brown and The Perio Group are on hand for advice on the right oral hygiene procedures to reduce gum inflammation and advancement into periodontal disease. If you have a more advanced condition, we can still treat these with a range of surgical and non-surgical treatments to restore your gums’ health. Contact us today to find out how Dr. Brown and The Perio Group can keep your gums healthy.