9 ways to take great care of your gums

Does it hurt when you brush your teeth? Or maybe you’ve noticed bleeding when you floss or spit out toothpaste. If this happens regularly, don’t ignore it, as this could be an early sign of gum disease. Here are some ways to improve gum health to stop bleeding and pain, and prevent gum problems from becoming more serious.  

Ask your dentist or hygienist about effective brushing techniques.

Flossing too roughly or infrequently can cause bleeding and pain. 

A stiff or worn out toothbrush could cause gum issues.  

Using mouthwash can help you reach plaque and food particles missed when brushing and flossing. If the mouthwash contains fluoride, you’ll get the bonus of cavity prevention. 

Tobacco usage, including vaping, is a major risk factor in gum disease and oral cancer.

Only your dentist or hygienist can remove calculus (tartar)— one of the risk factors for gum disease. Your dentist can also determine if you have gum disease or if bleeding or pain are due to other health conditions. 

Foods with carbohydrates — primarily sugars and starches — cause plaque to form on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Crunchy fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, plus lots of calcium, vitamin C and vitamin D can help minimize gum problems. 

Some medications, including blood thinners, birth control pills and steroids, can make gums more susceptible to irritation and bleeding. Your physician may be able to prescribe a different medication or dosage.

People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing gum disease. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can contribute to gum problems. 

If you’re stressed by recent events, it can be tempting to skip a brushing session or cancel your dental appointment. However, now more than ever, it’s important to take great care of your oral health. It’s strongly connected to your overall health and well-being.

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