At Harmony Dental, Dr. da Costa and his friendly and professional staff want to help every patient understand the best ways to take care of his or her oral health. While most patients focus on preventing cavities when they think about their oral health, Dr. da Costa wants to remind you that gums play a large role in both your oral and overall health.
In many cases, patients that deal with swollen and bleeding gums should take those symptoms as a sign of gum disease. However, a number of other factors could cause you to experience gum problems that may not relate to gum disease. Whatever the cause of painful and sore gums, you can take several steps to help minimize gum damage and discomfort.
Brushing Techniques to Help Your Gums
To maintain the health of your teeth, you might find yourself tempted to brush too aggressively in an effort to thoroughly remove harmful plaque and lingering food particles. However your gums are made of delicate tissue that could sustain damage when brushed too vigorously.
Regardless of whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush, it’s important that you choose one that features soft nylon bristles with smoothed ends. While you might think that every toothbrush would feature the same type of soft bristles that won’t harm the health of your gums, you can find brushes with medium and firm bristles that can damage your teeth’s enamel and cause red or swollen gums.
When you brush, use gentle, circular motions that massage and clean your teeth and gums. Many people have gotten into the habit of using a back-and-forth motion that can actually irritate and damage the health of your gums, making them tender and more likely to bleed or recede.
Flossing Techniques for Your Gums
Hopefully all of Dr. da Costa’s patients understand the importance of flossing daily in order to remove plaque and lingering food particles from areas of the mouth that a toothbrush cannot reach. To ensure that your flossing doesn’t cause swollen or bleeding gums, take your time while flossing and use a gentle touch. Instead of forcing the floss in-between your teeth, carefully slide it up and down and follow the curve of each tooth as you floss back and forth.
Over 75 percent of adults over the age of 35 suffer from some type of gum disease in the U.S. While the majority of people suffer from a less serious type of gum disease known as gingivitis, between five percent and 15 percent of the population have a more serious form of the disease known as periodontitis.
When you fail to practice quality oral health, the bacteria in your mouth form plaque on teeth. These bacteria can cause your gums to become infected and inflamed, which can result in swollen, red, or bleeding gums. For a lot of people who suffer from gingivitis, this inflammation causes no discernable pain. When caught early, gingivitis can be reversed and healed through proper oral hygiene. However, when left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontal disease, which can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Tips to Prevent Swollen, Sore, and Bleeding Gums
By following these seven steps, you can help to ensure the health of your teeth and gums.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Floss daily
- Eat a well balanced meal that contains plenty of vitamin C and calcium
- Drink plenty of water
- Say no to tobacco use of any kind
- Be cautious when consuming hot or cold food and drinks
- Relax, stress can raise your hormone levels and increase inflammation throughout the body.
If you have any other questions about how to protect the health of your gums, feel free to ask Dr. da Costa during your next appointment.