As much as we look forward to Thanksgiving, many people get even more excited about the following day. Every year, the day after the holiday is … National Flossing Day!
OK, we get it. You may not be as excited about this particular event as our team, but we do see at as a good reason to remind you about the importance of gum health.
In today’s post, we want to share some tips about how to care for your gums, and we want to remind you that we offer periodontal disease treatment at our general dentistry in Aberdeen, SD.
To schedule a dental checkup at Aberdeen Smiles, call (605) 277-9049 now!
How Healthy Are Your Gums?
The American Dental Association recommends doing two things daily as part of your daily hygiene routine:
- Brushing (twice per day)
- Flossing (once daily)
According to recent surveys, most people brush every day, but only 4 in 10 people floss daily. The survey also noted that 20 percent of people report that they never floss. That’s a bigger concern than you may realize.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. It’s also an incredibly widespread problem. The Centers for Disease Control reports that nearly half of people 30 years and older in the United States have some form of periodontitis (an advanced form of gum disease). Over the course of a lifetime, conservative estimates are that 7 in 10 people will develop some form of gum disease.
How do you know if your gums are infected? Healthy gums appear pink in color and feel firm. In the early stages of gum disease (gingivitis), gums can appear red and swollen. They also can bleed when you floss or brush your teeth. (Often this is an indication that you haven’t been flossing as often as you should.)
If you don’t take steps to address your infection, it can develop into periodontitis. The symptoms of this advanced form of gum disease include:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Sore or tender gums
- Constant bad breath or a lingering bad taste in your mouth
- Receding gums
- Teeth that feel loose in their sockets
We do want to point out that gum disease isn’t always painful, which is why many people avoid seeking treatment until it’s too late and their smiles are at risk. Being aware of the signs makes you more likely to get treatment in the early stages.
Tips To Follow
Your gums play an important role in your oral and overall health. We’ve already mentioned the effect unhealthy gums can have on tooth loss. You also may want to know that the same bacteria that cause gum disease have been linked with cardiovascular and heart problems. And if you have diabetes, a gum infection can make it more difficult to keep your blood sugar under control.
When you floss, you can use whatever dental floss works best for you. Just be sure to clean between each of your teeth and below the gumline.
If you don’t like using (or won’t use) dental floss, you do have some alternatives. Flossers can be found in many stores. These have short handles with a strand of floss on one end. Many people find these more comfortable to use than standard floss. Another option is to use a water flosser. These devices come in a number of price ranges. These use a stream of water to clean the spaces your toothbrush doesn’t reach. Studies have shown that water flossers can be as effective as dental floss when used correctly and consistently.
Don’t Lose Your Smile
If you want to keep your teeth, then you need to take care of your gums. During a dental cleaning and exam at Aberdeen Smiles, we are looking for any signs of problems with your gums. If there is trouble, we can advise you about your best treatment options, too.