If you find that your gums are puffy, irritated, and bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, you may be suffering from gingivitis (irritation of the gums). When left untreated gingivitis can lead to gum disease. Fortunately, you can reverse early signs of gingivitis by making a few simple changes to your dental routine and lifestyle.
1. Change How You Brush Your Gums
When it comes to brushing your gums, it is essential to use the proper brushing technique. Brushing your gums harder does not mean that you are cleaning them better; in fact, over-zealous brushing can even damage your gum tissue.
As you brush, make sure that you use circular motions. Do not brush your gums in a back and forth motion, as this is irritating on your delicate gum area.
The technique also matters if you use an electric toothbrush. You do not need to move the electric toothbrush in a brushing motion. Instead, move the electric toothbrush to every area of your gums and let the motion of the toothbrush do the work.
2. Visit the Dentist More Frequently
Visiting the dentist more frequently is an effective way to get your gum issues under control. Your dentist may recommend that you come in every three to four months for cleanings, rather than every six months. There are also special cleaning procedures, such as scaling and root planing, that your dentist can recommend to help remove plaque and bacteria from your gum area.
Your dentist can prescribe a prescription toothpaste and mouthwash that work to prevent the accumulation of plaque around your gums. More frequent dental visits help your dentist gauge the effectiveness of these products so that any necessary changes can be made to your dental care routine.
3. Check Your Old Dental Work and Restorations
One common reason that patients consciously choose not to floss is that they find it uncomfortable due to their old dental work and restorations. For example, if you have a filling that was left jagged in certain areas, you may find it difficult to work the floss around this tooth. Have your dentist examine any areas of concern to see what can be done to make flossing more comfortable for you.
4. Stop Smoking
Smoking is one of the most prevalent causes of gum disease. When you smoke, the ingredients in your cigarettes weaken your immune system. Your weakened immune system cannot properly fight off gum infections. Untreated gum infections permanently damage your gums and lead to gum disease.
For more information, contact a dental office like Rupp and Grabowski Family Dentistry.