Almost half of the adults in the US have gum disease. About 9% have mild gum disease, 30% have moderate disease, and 8.5% have severe disease. That’s nearly 65 million adults with a receding gum line!
Gum disease, or gingivitis, can cause pain and bloody gums. Without treatment, gingivitis could develop into periodontitis. The pockets of space between your teeth could become more pronounced.
In addition to receding gums, you might notice your teeth are becoming loose. You might even lose a tooth without preventative action.
Here are the seven tips that can help! With these tips and a dentist Lexington, KY residents trust, you won’t have to worry. Protect your gum line and teeth with these preventative measures today!
1. Brush and Floss Properly
First, it’s important to maintain proper oral hygiene. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy can help you avoid gingivitis altogether.
Otherwise, bacteria will mix with food particles in your mouth. Bacteria can cause plaque to form against the surface of your teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance you can clean away by brushing.
When left unattended, plaque can harden into tartar. You can’t clean tartar away by brushing. Instead, you’ll need to visit a dentist Lexington KY patients trust.
Follow the American Dental Association’s (ADA’s) guidelines:
- Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush
- Replace your brush every 3 to 4 months (sooner if the bristle fray)
- Brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums
- Press gently, moving the brush in short strokes
- Clean the inside of your teeth by brushing vertically, using short strokes
It’s important to choose the right toothpaste, too. Your toothpaste should contain fluoride.
Fluoride can strengthen your enamel (the outer layer of your teeth). It’s used to help prevent cavities. Fluoride also slows down the loss of minerals from your tooth enamel.
It can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and prevent early signs of tooth decay as well.
Otherwise, your enamel could weaken over time. Your teeth will become more vulnerable to bacteria, which can lead to gingivitis and cavities.
Look for products that feature the ADA seal of approval. You can also talk to your dentist in Lexington about the best products to use.
Don’t forget to floss every day, too! Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and gums. Remember, leaving plaque unattended leads to tartar.
Tartar can increase your chances of gum disease.
2. Rinse and Use Mouthwash
Take the time to rinse your mouth out with care. Make sure to rinse after brushing and flossing. You should use rinsing to replace your oral hygiene routine.
When you rinse your mouth with water after brushing with fluoride toothpaste, you’ll rinse the fluoride away.
Instead, use a therapeutic or cosmetic mouthwash.
Therapeutic mouthwashes can help prevent gum disease. They can also reduce how quickly plaque and tartar build-up. You can minimize how much plaque builds against your teeth.
Meanwhile, rinsing with a mouthwash can remove food particles from your mouth as well.
Look for mouthwashes with the ADA seal to ensure the product is safe and effective.
3. Schedule Regular Checkups
Look for a dentist Lexington, KY patients know and trust. Make sure to schedule regular dental checkups and professional cleanings.
Checkups will ensure your dentist catches any issues right away. A professional cleaning will help remove tartar from your teeth, too. You can reduce your risk of gingivitis and receding gums as a result.
Your dentist will catch any early signs of gum disease and gingivitis, which could include:
- Gums that bleed when your brush
- Tender, swollen, or red gums
- Receding gums
- Bad breath
- A bad taste
- Formation of deep pockets between the gums and teeth
- Changes in how your teeth fit together
- Loose or shifting teeth
Your gums can recede for other reasons, including:
- Aggressive tooth brushing
- Insufficient dental care
- Hormonal changes
- Tobacco products
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- A misaligned bite or crooked teeth
- Body piercings to the tongue or lip
Detecting gum disease early can help you avoid more severe issues down the road.
4. Stop Smoking
Smoking weakens the immune system. You might become more susceptible to gum disease and receding gums if you’re a smoker.
Try to quit smoking as soon as possible. Quitting could reduce your risk of developing gum disease.
If you’ve already developed gingivitis, talk to a cosmetic dentist in Lexington, KY. They can help you determine the best course of action moving forward. Your Lexington dentist can help you explore different treatments to repair your receding gums.
5. Improve Your Diet
Different foods can impact your gum health as well.
Try to avoid foods that could hurt your gums, including:
- Carbonated soft drinks
- Starchy foods
- Sticky candies and sweets
In the meantime, consider adding healthier foods to your diet. For example, sugar-free gum can increase saliva production. Saliva helps wash away plaque and food particles.
Dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and milk can boost saliva production, too.
Otherwise, drink green and black teas. These beverages can reduce harmful bacteria.
Look for foods that contain fluoride, including water and some seafood or poultry products. High-fiber fruits and vegetables can clean your mouth, too.
6. Minimize Risk Factors
Try to avoid risk factors that could increase your chances of gum disease. These include:
- Taking certain medications
- Teeth grinding
- Poor nutrition
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Cardiovascular disease
For example, periodontitis increases with age. About 70% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease.
7. Speak With a Dentist
It’s also important to know when it’s time to visit a family dentist in Lexington, KY.
First, pay attention to your gums. Do they look red or swollen? If you experience pain or bleeding for over a week, let your dentist know.
You might experience sensitivity or pain when chewing, too.
If these symptoms sound familiar, talk with your Lexington dentist right away.
Find a Trusted Dentist in Lexington, KY
Don’t let your receding gum line get worse. Instead, know when to call a dentist Lexington, KY patients rely on. By visiting your Lexington dentist, you can repair the damage before it gets worse.
Need to schedule a dentist right away? We’re here to help.
Contact your Lexington dentist to schedule your next appointment.