Why Do People Get Gum Disease?
There are many causes and risk factors related to gum disease, in all its stages including gingivitis. You can always get gum disease corrected with periodontal treatment from your local periodontist, but keeping your gums healthy to begin with is always preferred.
Common causes for gingivitis include:
- Smoking tobacco products or chewing tobacco.
- Drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages.
- Using illegal drugs or abusing prescription drugs.
- Using certain legitimate drugs that may irritate the gums.
- Not following a consistently healthy diet.
- Suffering from too much stress on a daily basis.
- Being pregnant, in puberty, or having hormonal imbalances.
- Getting older - gum disease is more common in older adults.
- Not maintaining good oral and dental hygiene.
- Having a hereditary predisposition to gum disease.
How Can Good Oral Care Prevent Gingivitis?
Taking good care of your gums is the number one action you can take to reduce your risk of gum problems. That may sound simplistic, but it really is the case.
Here are 7 key tips to follow that will promote good gum health for as long as you practice them:
- Brush your teeth in the morning after breakfast and in the evening just before going to bed. Use an antiseptic mouth rinse at the same times, and floss at least daily - right after dinner would be best.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that will not hurt your gums. Brush gently over your gums around the gum line, and use a dental pick to scrape plaque from off of the very edge of the tooth-gum connection, where it tends to accumulate.
- Avoid high-sugar foods, and when you do eat or drink them, rinse your mouth out with water afterward. Consider brushing your teeth an extra time in such instances as well.
- When flossing in interdental spaces, be careful not to push down too far and cut or hurt your gums. It is crucial to clean this area, but remember your gums are sensitive.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables because the vitamins and minerals they contain will strengthen your periodontal tissue and reduce the risk of getting gingivitis.
- Make a habit of drinking 64 ounces of water per day - eight eight-ounce glasses, called the 8 x 8 rule. This will clean your gums and teeth besides boosting your immune health and preventing dehydration.
- See your periodontist at least once a year for a "gum checkup." Your gums are just as important as your teeth to your oral and overall health!