Don’t Ignore Your Gum Health!

‘Stay at home’ lockdown isn’t great but it does give us chance to review personal oral care

Healthy teeth and gumsMany of you will still be at home, unable to work, or perhaps working from home. One thing that undoubtedly is happening though, is that many of us are having to find ways of filling time that we didn’t previously enjoy.

While some people are learning new skills, others may just be watching more TV; everybody has a different way of coping with the current situation and that is fine. Sometimes though, it is good to turn off the TV and do something practical. In today’s blog, your regular Woking dentists offer a small suggestion that will only take up a few minutes of your day, but could significantly contribute to you having a healthier mouth.

Looking after your gums

How much do you think about your gums when you are cleaning your teeth? Most of us probably think little about it unless they feel sore or are inflamed, or perhaps even bleeding. Like most things to do with our health, it is better to look after it in a preventative way than have to treat it later. The same applies to our gums. If we neglect our gums, not only will we often suffer from discomfort, but, if left untreated, it can result in teeth becoming loose or even falling out.

There are 2 key stages to gum disease; these are generally known as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Briefly, gingivitis sometimes causes symptoms such as sore or inflamed gums, bleeding and also halitosis (bad breath). Periodontitis can have similar symptoms but also affects the roots of the teeth and potentially, the surrounding bone structure. When this becomes infected, teeth may become loose and even fall out.

Prevention of gum disease

There is one important way of looking after your gums that unfortunately can’t be done at the moment due to closure of dental practices, and that is to have a regular scale and polish with the hygienist at the AJ Dental Group. We do recommend that you make an appointment to have this done when we are open again, though currently we don’t know when this might be.

In the meantime, there are a number of things that you can do to improve how you look after your gums at home:

Change your brushing habits

The next time you go to brush your teeth, start off slowly and notice how much you brush your gums. The chances are it will not be as much as you think. You shouldn’t use too much force on your gums, but gently brushing the surface is beneficial.

Perhaps more important is to clean just below the gum line so that bacteria and food pieces that have become trapped, can be removed. This is done by pointing the bristles of the brush at around 45 degrees upwards or downwards depending on whether you are brushing the upper or lower set of teeth. Start off slowly and notice how this enables the bristles to reach beneath the gum line. Take a few minutes to notice this for the first few times that you brush and you will soon do this automatically and it will become a regular and natural part of your teeth cleaning regimen.

Using dental floss

Despite encouragement from dentists, it is still a fact that the majority of people in the UK don’t use dental floss. The usual reason given for this is that it is fiddly and takes too much time.

It is true that flossing between your teeth can seem a little difficult at first, but now that most of us have time on our hands, this is a good opportunity to get to grips with it. Think of it as a challenge, but one that will have real benefits for your gum health. We recommned looking for a good instructional video and following the instructions as it is often easier to see how to do things correctly than read about it.

Once you have mastered this habit, you will find that it only takes a few minutes just once a day to clean the parts of your teeth and gums that a toothbrush often won’t reach.

We are sorry that we can’t see our Woking patients at the moment and, like most of you we are sure, we can’t wait for things to return to something like normal. It is important though that we continue to follow governmental advice and maintain the current ‘stay at home’ routine. It does appear that this is starting to have a positive effect but it is likely to be a little longer before things can start to be eased. Please be patient and follow the advice. The outcome will be better in the long run.

If you do have a serious dental situation that you feel may require urgent treatment, you can still call the AJ Dental group on 01483 766355 or 01932 352333 where you will be offered advice on what action to take. Please stay safe and we hope to see you again in due course.

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