Gum disease is one of the most common oral diseases and it is caused by harmful bacteria, which release acids that cause the gums to become tender, inflamed and irritated. Most commonly, poor oral hygiene is to blame for the build-up of these harmful bacteria and the creation of plaque; however, there are additional risk factors, such as diet and smoking.
Preventing gum disease
The good news is that gum disease is preventable and there are some really easy steps you can follow to drastically reduce your risk of developing gum disease:
- Practise good oral hygiene at home: your daily regime at home should include at least 2 minutes of brushing morning and evening and flossing. Brushing and flossing remove bits of leftover food and cleanse the mouth to reduce the risk of bacterial infection and keep bad breath at bay.
- See your dentist every 6 months: regular check-ups are a really important means of keeping an eye on your oral health and ensuring that any problems are addressed as early as possible.
- Watch out for symptoms: symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums, swelling and tenderness. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s best to get checked out, rather than waiting until your next check-up.
- Limit your consumption of sugary and acidic foods: foods that contain sugar and those that have a low pH value are damaging for the gums and the protective tooth enamel, so try to keep an eye on your sugar consumption and take extra care when choosing snacks between meals. When you eat, the enamel softens temporarily, so eating sugary foods between meals means that your enamel is under constant attack.