Your dental hygiene can affect your overall health. Maintaining poor dental hygiene can lead to gingivitis (early stages), bacterial infections and in severe cases, heart and vascular problems. By taking action to avoid gum disease, you are also caring for the rest of you body and immune system.
Half of all adults in the UK will experience gum disease at some point in their lives. This figure could be so easily reduced by simply applying normal dental hygiene – meaning half of the adults in the UK don’t look after their teeth properly! Gum disease is not life-threatening but if you have the symptoms listed below, you should seek the help of a dental practitioner before more serious damage occurs:
- Bleeding gums (including when flossing, brushing)
- Gums that appear puffy, red, tender or swollen.
- A strange or abnormal taste in your mouth
- Pus oozing from between your teeth and gums.
- If your gums have retracted from your teeth, leaving a pocket or space (healthy gums should fit perfectly with your teeth leaving no spaces).
If you ignore these kind of symptoms, you could end up with
- Loose teeth
- Lost teeth
- Receding gums
- Abscesses (the build-up of bacteria in a localised area)
How to treat gum disease?
If you feel there are any unusual changes or abnormalities with your teeth, it’s always advisable to see your dental practitioner. If you have gum disease and it’s in its early stages, there are a few simple things you can do to get you back on track
- Brush Brush Brush! If you’ve got gum disease, the chances are you haven’t been cleaning your teeth properly or for long enough. Make sure you’re brushing for 3 minutes, twice a day at the very least – if you can brush for an additional 3 minutes at lunchtime, you can be sure your gum disease will disappear much more quickly.
- Floss, Floss, Floss! Brushing really is the bare minimum when it comes to dental hygiene. There are many corners and crevices that your toothbrush simply cannot reach – this is where flossing comes in. Remove all the hidden bits of food that nestle in between your teeth – it’s a hotbed for bacteria and one of the biggest causes of gum disease.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste – Toothpaste containing fluoride will strengthen the teeth and prevent dental cavities. Fluoride will make the enamel on your teeth stronger, making them less susceptible to sugary drinks and foods.
- Get regular check-ups – Gum disease is the kind of thing that creeps up on you. You’ll kick yourself when realise it could have been prevented by applying a healthy dental care routine. To avoid receiving a nasty surprise, visit your dentist once every 6 months for a check-up.