You may take your gums for granted, focusing instead on having healthy teeth. But your gums play a vitally important role in dental health because you can’t have strong teeth without healthy gums.
When you develop gum disease — also known as periodontal disease — you risk losing your teeth. In fact, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Fortunately, you can take some essential steps to prevent tooth loss due to gum disease. Even simple steps can go a long way toward protecting your teeth.
At VaraniSmile in Turlock, California, general dentist Antoine Varani and our team of dental care providers are committed to helping our patients have the healthiest possible gums and teeth. Here, we provide five steps to prevent tooth loss from gum disease.
Your gums are the tissue in your mouth that surround and support your teeth. Healthy gums are firm and pink, and they meet right up at the base of your teeth.
Unhealthy gums may look red and swollen, or they may recede from your teeth, leaving pockets where infection can develop. When you brush unhealthy gums, they may bleed, appear inflamed, and feel sore.
When gums become inflamed and unhealthy, your teeth could loosen and eventually fall out.
Regular brushing and flossing are among the best ways to protect your gums. When you brush and floss properly (brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and floss once a day), you remove debris and bacteria that can contribute to inflammation in your gums.
To learn more about how to brush and floss correctly, click here and here for detailed instructions from the American Dental Association. Or ask our hygienist to show you how to brush and floss effectively.
Be sure to use a soft toothbrush because firm or stiff toothbrush bristles can damage your gums’ delicate tissue.
Our team will let you know if your gums might benefit from a post-brushing rinse with a fluoride-containing product.
Certain daily habits can wreak havoc on your gums. These include eating a poor diet, smoking, and chewing tobacco. If you need help quitting smoking, check out smokefree.gov, which offers various tips and tools for quitting, including apps and texting programs.
When you have your teeth cleaned professionally, our hygienist removes plaque and tartar that can build up and contribute to gum damage. Dr. Varani recommends having your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year. In some cases — for example, if you have diabetes — he may suggest more frequent cleanings.
If Dr. Varani recommends follow-up care, such as cavity fillings or root canal, be sure to schedule them right away to help protect the tooth’s long-term health.
Tell Dr. Varani if you notice any of the following:
When you take steps to protect your gum health, you boost your chances of having healthy teeth and an attractive smile. You also lower your chances of losing teeth to gum disease.
To make an appointment for a checkup, a dental cleaning, a gum evaluation, or any other dental care, call us at (209) 248-6659 or use our easy online booking form.