Maintenance of oral hygiene refers to not only teeth and tongue, but also gums. Majority of gingival diseases are caused due to harmful bacteria that are inhabitants of dental plaque.
Thus, it is imperative to take proper care of gingival tissues on a regular basis. Here’s how you can work towards healthy gums:
Tips To Care For Your Gums
Correct Selection Of Toothbrush
It is known to all that brushing properly is important to prevent gums from bleeding or losing attachment from the tooth surface. To do so, a correct toothbrush design must be selected.
Hardness of the tooth bristles must always be considered. Softer bristles are not only flexible but more effective in proper cleaning, both at the level of teeth and in regard to the natural space found between them.
With daily use in the morning and night, these tooth bristles begin to wear and must be replaced after a time span of approximately three months.
Manual method of brushing is sometimes not enough to maintain good oral health, for example in crowded teeth, children undergoing orthodontic treatment or aged people with physical disabilities. In such cases, power driven toothbrushes must be made use of.
Brushing Technique Makes A Lot Of Difference
Correct brushing technique bears relevance in lifelong maintenance of healthy oral tissues. Vigorous brushing, particularly in horizontal direction in fact increases the tendency of gum bleeding, ulcers and recession.
Gently place the brush at an angle of 45 degree while cleaning such that the bristles make contact with both, the gingival margin and tooth surface. Do not be in any hurry or overlook any of the key areas with highest plaque accumulation (for example, the upper back teeth)
Adjuncts To Tooth Brushing
Besides brushing, flossing is another way to thoroughly remove the biofilm. It has been proved that brushing alone is not sufficient for gum health as it eliminates only a certain amount of plaque.
With dental floss, it is possible to dislodge plaque and food debris that gets stuck in between teeth and also below the gum line. If left, the layer of plaque soon becomes hard making removal all the more difficult.
While flossing, make sure to floss the upper arch first, followed by the lower arch. If you push with too much pressure, there is a risk of gingival injury.
Be patient enough to floss the surfaces facing the tongue too. In case of doubt, always ask your doctor for correction directions on how to use the floss. You may use convenient floss threaders to clean dental bridges as well.
Cleaning Aids For Interdental Space
Interdental brushes, soft toothpicks made of wood and conical shaped rubber tips are devices that help in eradication of disease causing bacteria and plaque from those areas that are difficult to reach via toothbrushes and sometimes floss too.
These prove especially helpful to those with wide gaps between teeth and root exposure. Many prefer these aids over dental floss.
Oral Irrigation That Can Be Done At Home
One must make it a regular practice to irrigate the gums. This is because the water stream which is directed towards the living tissue and tooth surfaces with sufficient pressure removes the loosely adherent food particles and bacteria from the mouth.
This is more effective in maintaining the normal, healthy state of gingiva as compared to chemical adjuncts such as mouthwashes. Those wearing orthodontic wires, appliances such as space maintainers or retainers and prosthetic devices such as dental bridges, must pay good attention to gums so as to prevent soreness and gum bleeding.
Another benefit of oral irrigation is that it easily removes all the toxins that build up beneath the gingival margin. Irrigation with Chlorhexidine (dilute concentration) brings better results as compared to irrigation with water alone. Those suffering from gingivitis must begin with lesser pressure and gradually proceed to higher level.
Oral Rinses For Disease Free Gums
Rinse twice a day with anti microbial and antiseptic mouthwashes, for example Chlorhexidine or rinses containing essential oil. Vigorously swish the anti plaque solution throughout the oral cavity while keeping the lips together and upper and lower teeth slightly apart.
Continue for around thirty seconds and later spit out the liquid. Do note that eating or smoking immediately after rinsing is not advisable. However, you should consult your dentist before using them as prolonged use of mouth rinses can lead to temporary staining of teeth.
Role Of Nutrition And Eating Habits
A good diet keeps gums in a healthy condition. Sufficient water intake, especially after eating snacks is important to remove the sticky food from the mouth. Such sugary foods are the perfect medium for bacteria to act on and release acids that harm the gingiva.
Therefore, you must work on eliminating all unhealthy food habits which include high intake of sugar and junk food. Intake of food and fruits rich in Vitamin C, Zinc and Folate retard the buildup of plaque and accelerate the healing process of swollen gums. If you are a smoker, try to quit the habit.
Periodic Dental Visits
It is important to pay visit to a dentist at frequent intervals for evaluation of the gingival status. Your dentist will instruct you on how to maintain good oral health and demonstrate if needed. Many a time, Scaling is done to remove the hard deposits from the teeth and from under the gum line.