Gum disease is a serious problem, and in its later stages it can increase the risk for heart problems, diabetes and other illnesses. Naturally, you'll want to do all you can to avoid gum disease -- but is there anything you can do at home? Whilst working closely with your dentist is important in the prevention of gum disease, there's also plenty you can do on your own. You might even be able to avoid complicated and costly gum disease treatments later if you take the following measures now.
Sugar is Your Enemy -- Avoid It!
Your mouth contains natural bacteria, and that bacteria isn't all bad. The good bacteria helps keep the bad bacteria under control under normal circumstances. However, sugar allows the bad bacteria to feed and then grow dramatically. Soon, this can lead to gum disease. Although practising good oral hygiene helps keep sugar from accumulating in the mouth, it's not always enough. Sugar, and even its residue, tend to linger stubbornly in the mouth. The best way to avoid sugar damage is simply to avoid eating it as much as possible. This also has the benefit of putting you at lower risk for weight gain!
Practise Optimal Oral Hygiene Habits
Whilst you probably know that brushing and flossing every day is important, you may not know that it's optimal to brush after every single meal. Brush for at least two full minutes at a time, and floss as well. This ensures that you clear away bad bacteria before it has a chance to work its way into your teeth and gums to cause gum disease. Be sure that you're brushing with the right toothbrush too; use a soft bristle brush and replace it every couple of months.
Ask Your Dentist About a Salt Water Rinse
Many dentists now recommend a salt water rinse for patients who want to prevent gum disease naturally. A natural salt water rinse has several benefits. It can help soothe your gums when they're sore, it can reduce bacteria in the mouth and it can help rinse away debris. These things combine to help prevent gum disease in a natural way. Whilst a salt water rinse may not be as powerful in gum disease prevention as professional treatments at your dentist's office, it's still a good option that you can do at home.
Want to learn more about gum disease prevention? Speak to your dentist about starting the practises above. You may be surprised at just how much these simple home based measures can improve your oral health!