A study that began in 2009 conducted by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly half of Americans over the age of 30 are suffering from gum disease (a disease that destroys the bones and gums). The rates top 70% in senior citizens 65 and older (among a notably higher prevalence in those who were less educated, impoverished, Mexican-Americans, men, or smokers). The study doesn't even count gingivitis which is the earliest stage of the gum disease. The progression of these diseases is rooted in the accumulation of sticky bacteria-laden plaque from consumed foods below and along the gum line. By preventing the earliest forms of gum disease which cause inflammation of gum tissue and receding gum lines, Americans can protect their oral health into their old age. We have provided seven useful techniques that everyone can use to reduce the risks of gum disease and its nefarious progressions.
Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush that is adequately suited to reach all the tooth surfaces of your mouth is the best prevention. You should brush each quadrant of your mouth in separate phases using a gentle circular motion to polish the teeth. Start by practicing on the right side and brushing for 20-seconds, followed by left side for 20-seconds, and finally the front teeth for an additional 20-seconds. You then repeat this procedure for the inside surfaces of all teeth and again on the top surfaces. Don't forget to brush your cheeks and tongue to prevent bacterial growth and the bad breath associated with it. Using a fluoride toothpaste and alcohol-free mouthwash will help strengthen teeth and protect against the deterioration that allows gum disease to set in stronger.
Flossing is a great way to reduce the inflammatory plaque that develops at the gum line. The leading cause of gingivitis and gum disease in Americans is caused by a lack of flossing. When Americans fail to pay attention to the hard cement-like tooth-colored plaques developing at the base of their teeth and in tight spots, they are the most susceptible. But, flossing also gets out those food particles that break down and start to stew into plaque. Flossing is gently polishing your teeth on each side and slightly under the gum line without hurting the delicate tissue. It is not a race to merely pick food out of teeth.
Nowadays, you can purchase the same kind of stainless steel instruments that your dentist uses to clean your teeth for under $20. These dental picks can help you dislodge any visible plague that is accumulating below or along the gum line. Many people have a few problem spots where they really develop plaque rapidly. You won't be able to match the results of a full dental office cleaning, but it will certainly help you maintain your mouth better between cleanings.
Using coconut oil to prevent dental problems is an ancient secret. Simply purchase cold-pressed virgin coconut oil and swish a tablespoon of the oil around in your mouth for about 20-minutes. The results are real. Coconut oil is scientifically proven to contain substances that rid the mouth of the particular bacterium associated with tooth decay and gum disease. This is why it is the main ingredient in many natural toothpaste blends. The great thing about the oil is that it sticks to those hard to reach places and places a protective anti-bacterial film around tooth surfaces.
Smoking is strongly associated with gum disease. It may be that smokers are more likely to have other bad habits such as neglecting their dental health. But, there is also the reality that smoking weakens the immune system. This makes it difficult for your body to restore itself and fight off the bacterium that are looking to breed in your gums.
There is really no substitute for having professional dental cleanings every 6-months or at least once a year. When you have the cleanings done you will immediately feel the freshness of your teeth and the restored fit of your bite. You will always remember that fascination of how it feels to have that burden of plaque lifted off your teeth so that they can breathe again. It is a very refreshing feeling that is worth the practice beyond the long-term health reasons.
Ill-fitting crowns can collect food particles and be difficult to brush or floss. The problem is that there is a tight surface that is cemented to the original tooth but has enough gaps to trap food particles. These areas can harbor bacteria and become chronically infected. It is important that you pay special attention to flossing these areas as gently as possible and invest in a good toothbrush that can help. Other appliances like partials or dentures need to be cleaned properly but never brushed because the softer surfaces can be scratched and become pockets for bacterial growth.
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