1. Gum Disease
Prevention of Gum disease is very personal, affordable and rewarding, yet many adults have one form or another of gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, it ranges from Gingivitis to the more severe Periodontitis, which causes tooth loss. Gingivitis is caused by Plaque. Plaque is a colourless, sticky film formed from a mucous and bacteria build up, which, if not removed, hardens to form tartar. Plaque is removed by brushing, but tartar is not and requires a trip to the Dentist (for Scaling). Depending on the severity, more expensive and extensive management will be needed.
However many people brush and floss their teeth yet still develop plaque. I will give you a few tips to correct what you may be doing wrong in preventing the development of Plaque.
- A good quality toothbrush is essential for effective toothbrushing. Change it every 3 months. Soft or Medium hardness bristles are best. Hard Toothbrushes cause damage to teeth and gums. You may even use a Miswak! It naturally contains many of the active ingredients used in toothpaste.
- Brush teeth at least twice daily. Do not go to bed without brushing.
- Do not use force when brushing teeth. Instead, brush for longer- 2-4 minutes of gentle pressure is advised.
- Brush all the surfaces of your teeth. Do not ignore the area near the gums! Start from the gum and move your brush towards the edge of your teeth. Use dental floss to clean in-between the teeth.
- Visit your dentist. One of the most common phobias is a fear of dentists or dental work, and so most people avoid visiting a dentist unless or until they feel pain. If you really want to keep your gums healthy, have a consultation twice a year (only!) It is empowering to know the state of your mouth, and much, much cheaper than treating gum disease.
Schedule appointments at least twice a year
If you notice the following symptoms, you may have Gingivitis and should implement the above tips:
- Red and swollen gums
- Painful and bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Pain on chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Teeth looking “longer” or “extended"