With all of the discussions about wellness, oral care never seems to get its share of the spotlight. This is a shame because gum health impacts everything from your appearance to your likelihood of suffering a stroke. Your mouth is an indicator of total body health and putting an emphasis on healthy gums can go a long way toward staving off disease later in life.
3 Interesting Facts About Gum Health That May Surprise You
- Bleeding gums may be a sign you have the beginning stages of gum disease. If you are brushing or flossing and see blood, it is possible the bacteria that cause periodontal disease are present and have infected your gums. Improving your brushing and flossing efforts are essential but so is a visit to your periodontist in Pittsburgh, PA.
- Foods that are good for your body are good for your smile and foods that are bad for your body are bad for your smile. Sugar loaded drinks, sweets, and sodas are terrible for your tooth and gum health, but water, fruits, and vegetables provide essential nutrients. They also provide a valuable service, helping to rinse or scrub bacteria from the mouth.
- Healthy gums can lower your risk of systemic illness. Periodontal disease has been linked to a number of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, respiratory illness, dementia, and certain types of cancer.
Steps to Healthier Gums
- Floss at least once per day. It takes less than two minutes and is the basic foundation of gum care. Use string floss so that you can reach around the whole tooth, not just in between the teeth.
- Brush twice daily, at minimum, to remove food debris, plaque, and bacteria. If possible, brush after meals and before bed. Electric tooth brushes do improve results.
- Schedule regular cleanings to remove plaque in hard to reach places and be sure to get annual exams with oral cancer screenings.
- Re-evaluate what you put in your body. If you eat a lot of chips or candy, cut back and start substituting apples or grapes. Replace soda with water. If you smoke, talk to your periodontist in Pittsburgh, PA, about cessation methods.