Healthy gums are the foundation of a good smile. The need for preventing gum disease goes beyond making sure your teeth have a good home. Yes, gum disease can cause lost teeth, bad breath and damage to your jaw. However, problems with your gums can cause other health issue. Breathing in the bacteria present in gum disease could lead to respiratory infections over time. If bacteria from gum disease enters your bloodstream you could experience hardened arteries and infections in your heart valves. Should that bacteria make its way into your nervous system, you could suffer dementia. Gum disease can make it difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels, and could worsen their condition. So healthy gums should be a priority for everyone.
While there are multiple causes for gum disease, the most common cause is the accumulation of plaque and tartar on your teeth. To combat this problem, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss at least once a day, making sure that you reach below the gumline. Using an antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash may also help, as will dental products that fight plaque. Remember that plaque can also accumulate on your gums, so even if you wear dentures, you should brush and rinse your gums when you clean your dentures.
Make time to see your dentist twice a year for your cleaning and checkup. During your appointment, the dentist will remove the plaque and tartar that you may have missed while brushing and flossing, and check for the symptoms of gum disease.
If you live in the San Francisco, California area and would like to make an appointment to see our dentist, Dr. Peter Karsant, call Karsant Dentistry at 415-333-3919 today.