From an early age, it is drilled into everyone’s head that dental care is important. As a child, you are told to clean your teeth twice a day. Regular visits to the dentist help to further take care of young people’s molars, and adults alike.
The money that Americans shell out on dental care has risen dramatically since the 1960s. Back in the swinging sixties, $2 billion was being spent annually on dental care.
By 2018, $135 billion a year was being spent on taking care of Americans’ teeth, according to Statista.
Many people, though, still do not equate a visit to the dentists as being linked to total oral care. While everyone values a pearly white smile, gum health is equally important.
What problems could you encounter with your gums?
You are no doubt fully aware of the problems that can occur if you don’t take care of your teeth. Millions of people have suffered the pain of having a hole that demands filling.
However, you may not be so aware of what can happen if you don’t care for your gums.
Gingivitis, periodontitis, or gum disease, is a condition that affects over 47 percent of adults and can cause serious problems including tooth loss.
Untreated gum disease can damage the soft tissue in your mouth. Ultimately it can destroy the section of the jawbone needed to support teeth.
Are there other health risks to having gum disease?
You might think that gum disease alone sounded bad enough. But failing to take care of your gum’s health can lead to other problems too.
Problems that can occur from gum disease include the following:
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Pregnancy issues
Healthline reports that the bacteria linked to gum disease can raise the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Despite all the advertising and reports on dental care, very few people realize the risks associated with gum disease and other health issues.
What can you do about protecting and looking after your gums?
Understanding the health risks associated with poor gum healthcare can be a great start to improving your dental care.
In the UK, it is reported that only 1 in 6 people realize that gum disease is linked to stroke and diabetes, and only a third of people know that it can cause heart disease and cardiac arrest.
A checklist for improving and maintaining the health of your gums should look something like this:
- Regular visits to your dentist
- Flossing daily
- Buy a new toothbrush every quarter
- Opt for soft bristles
- If possible use an electric toothbrush
There are some other ways to improve your dental health at home.
Can you reverse gum disease?
Regular visits to the dentist mean that the early stages of gum disease can be caught. This is called gingivitis and is common in pregnant women with up to 70% developing it.
At this point, gum disease can be treated and reversed. Yet, if it is allowed to worsen and becomes periodontitis, then it is incurable. If this point is reached, all that can be done is to treat and manage the disease
While regular dentist visits, cleaning, and flossing, can help, there are also ways to reverse gum disease naturally when it is in the early stages. These include the use of coconut oil to help remove bacteria.
More steps you can take at home to help your gums
You will have read a mention of natural treatments for gum disease in the paragraph above. You can help yourself and your gums without buying expensive over-the-counter remedies.
Coconut oil can be used for what is called oil pulling. By swishing the oil around your teeth you will help to remove the harmful bacteria that cause gum disease.
If you don’t like the idea of oil pulling, there are other natural ways you can use to cleanse your mouth including the use of saltwater.
Mouthwashes can be made from sage, lemon tree oil, tea tree oil, aloe vera, and guava leaf. In the case of lemon and tea tree oil, it only requires a few drops diluted in water.
If you prefer regular teeth cleaning options, then search for toothpaste that specifically targets gum disease. Mouthwashes and toothpaste with xylitol can also help your gums.
Regular dental visits are highly important to help spot problems early. Without healthy gums, it will be impossible to keep having a healthy smile.
For instance, although there are 3 different types of dental implants, if you have major problems with your gums you wouldn’t be able to support any of them. You could literally end up with no teeth.
Gum disease can cause some serious health problems, including dementia and stroke. However, if caught early it can be cured, and even later stage gum disease can be treated. What you should never do though, is ignore your gums’ health.