We may have heard a countless number of times on the importance of brushing one’s teeth. While looking after your teeth is an important aspect of oral hygiene, the gums should not be ignored or neglected but should be given their due care and attention. Gums if ignored can lead to periodontitis or gingivitis, which can cause your gums to bleed and become swollen and inflamed. Since it is your gums that hold your teeth in place, it becomes vital to give them as much care and attention as the teeth.
Ways to Take Care of Gums
Brush Your Gums
Just like you brush your teeth morning and night, you should also brush and massage your gums.
Use a soft bristled toothbrush for this purpose. Gently move the brush on the surface of your gums in round and circular motions. This helps to remove plaque and foreign debris, which may have been stuck to your gums.
Regular Cleanings and Scaling
Regular clean ups of the teeth and the gums are advised to be done at least once in six months. This helps to remove built up tartar and plaque around the gum line. If you do not get this removed, it will harden around your teeth and cause severe gingivitis. In the clean up, the hard tartar is removed and your teeth and the surrounding tissue is cleaned and scaled. Repeated cleanings will be advised especially if you have a predisposition towards gum disease.
Flossing in between your teeth is very important to get rid of any food particles. If food particles stuck in between the teeth are not removed, the accumulated bacteria can start to eat away at your gums and cause them to bleed or become infected.
It could also lead to a severe gum infection or abscess that can be quite painful and uncomfortable.
Make sure you use prescription toothpaste as recommended by your dentist. This takes care of your teeth and gums for a long period of time. It also helps to prevent the build up of bacteria and germs in the teeth, which will ultimately reduce plaque formation. You must also use this toothpaste at night when the mouth has the hardest time trying to ward off bacterial attacks on your teeth and gums.
Certain mild and subtle changes made in your diet can give you an easier time and help to prevent gum disease. Make sure you reduce your consumption of sugary foods. This in turn will reduce plaque build up in your gums and keep your gums and teeth healthy. Take a diet that is rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is said to be amazing for oral health as it strengthens the gums and prevents the incidence of scurvy and gingivitis. Speak to your doctor about the recommended dosage. You can also supplement vitamin C by taking enough of citrus fruits in your diet.
Zinc is recommended for patients who are suffering from gingivitis. Zinc helps by speeding up the healing process in patients. To treat gingivitis, take 40 mg of zinc for at least 3 months before you see a considerable improvement in the health of your gums.
Liquid Folic Acid
Take liquid folic acid if you want to reverse and treat gum disease and have healthier gums. For this take .1% solution of liquid folic acid and use it to rinse and wash your mouth after brushing your teeth well. Try not to eat or drink anything for at least 15 minutes after doing the folic acid rinse. Doing this will treat gingivitis and also give you pink, healthy and strong gums over a period of time.
Clean Your Tongue
You will be surprised by the number of germs and bacteria harbouring on the insides of your tongue. It is therefore very important to clean your tongue thoroughly after every meal. Rinse and clean your tongue with a special tongue cleaner or simply clean it with the help of a normal tooth brush.
Just move the brush all over your tongue in small and circular motions. This helps to get rid of the germs and bacteria stuck to your tongue. This will not only help to keep your breath sweet smelling but will also prevent plaque and tartar build up around your gum line.
Use a Good Mouthwash
Use a good doctor recommended mouthwash like Listerine, which is said to be very effective for healthy teeth and gums. It keeps dental plaque at bay and thus prevents the formation of tartar on the teeth. Mouthwashes are also said to give 12-hour protection against germs and bad breath, which is said to be very good for your oral health. If you are suffering from inflammatory gingivitis, you can use a good mouthwash. It helps to subside the pain and also reduces pain and inflammation.
Do Not Smoke or Chew Tobacco
Tobacco chewing and smoking not only causes cancer of the mouth but also plays havoc with your oral health. It can darken and destroy the gums and lead to early tooth rot and decay. If you are a smoker, quit smoking right away. Similarly, you must also have alcohol in strict moderation. Alcohol can cause your existing gum disease if any to spiral out of control. This can lead to a lot of problems especially if you are undergoing treatment for gingivitis or periodontitis.
Care During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, it is advisable to get regular clean ups done as pregnant women are prone to bleeding gums.
This occurs due to the massive fluctuation in the hormonal levels during pregnancy. Following a good oral regime like brushing and flossing during pregnancy is critical to protect the gums and the teeth.
The above measures are simple and doable ways of keeping the gums in good health. Stronger gums will hold stronger teeth and protect your mouth from the adverse effects of periodontitis and gingivitis. Eat a rich and varied diet of fruits and veggies for healthy gums.