Gum Health Advice For The Summer Months
All year round gum care is important, but summer can pose some particular problems
We’ve discussed before how important it is to look after your gums as well as your teeth. In addition to often unpleasant symptoms such as bleeding and sore gums, bad breath and even pockets of pus; poor gum health can also affect the bone which holds your teeth in place. As this bone becomes infected, it is quite possible that your teeth may become loose and potentially fall out if treatment is not sought in time.
Looking after your gums isn’t really that hard and just requires a mixture of common sense and paying a little more attention to them than you possibly do currently. Today’s blog covers a number of things that you can do to improve your gum health. Whilst many of these apply to all the year round, some, such as staying hydrated, are particularly more relevant to the hotter summer months to come.
Without further ado then, here is some gum health advice from the dentists at Blue Sky Dental in Chelmsford which we hope will inspire you to improve the way that you take care of your gums.
Brush your gums as well as your teeth
Your mouth is full of bacteria as well as many tiny pieces of food that have not been washed away by saliva. Brushing your teeth is important of course, but so is lightly brushing your gums, especially around the gum line. Angle the toothbrush bristles so that they get beneath the gum line and help to clear any bacteria and debris. Ask your dentist to recommend a good quality toothpaste too. Some of these help to break down bacteria even further.
Use dental floss
Yes, we might be guilty of repeating ourselves on this topic but the reality is that an awful lot of us don’t floss between our teeth. This is one of the most likely places for food and bacteria to become trapped and adding flossing to your night time routine can make big improvements in the health of your teeth and gums.
This one is sometimes debated within the dental community. The general opinion is that using mouthwash can be a good thing as long as it isn’t used as a substitute for brushing and flossing. Mouthwashes can also vary in quality with some offering little more than a mouth freshening experience. Talk to your dentist or hygienist for further advice.
Summer is a good time to quit smoking if you haven’t already. Take advantage of the warmer weather and fresh air and go for walks instead of lighting up. Smoking is one of the worst things that you can do for your oral health and is a major cause not only of advanced gum disease such as periodontitis but also potentially fatal oral cancer.
Hot weather has a tendency to dehydrate us and that is not only bad for our general health but our oral health too. Make sure especially to go to bed well hydrated to avoid dry mouth syndrome which can greatly increase the number of potentially harmful bacteria in your mouth which can then lead to gum disease.
One note on this topic that is worth mentioning; hydrating yourself should be done using water only. Sugary drinks will only increase the likelihood of dental problems such as tooth decay and, however tempting they may be on a hot summer’s day, a cold beer will only add to the likelihood of becoming dehydrated when taken in excess.
Clean any removable dental appliances
You should not only keep your teeth and gums clean but also any removable dental appliances too. Dentures or retainers can harbour bacteria if not cleaned correctly so please make sure that you take good care to do this. Our team is always happy to offer advice on cleaning, should you need it.
If, after putting the above suggestions into place, you notice any symptoms that might be associated with gum disease, please don’t ignore it, thinking it can wait until your next check up appointment at our Chelmsford practice. Early stage gum disease, known as gingivitis, is easier to treat and manage than periodontitis. Make sure that you see our hygienist to have your teeth professionally cleaned with a ‘scale and polish’ procedure every six months and do contact us in between if you have any concerns about your teeth or gums.
We hope that today’s blog proves to be useful and we are sure that if you follow the above advice, you will see an improvement in your overall oral health. If you need any related advice or would like to make an appointment at Blue Sky Dental, you can do so by calling us today on 01245 211070.