Most people learn how to look after their teeth from a very early age and get into the habit of brushing twice a day just like they were told. Yet there's more to oral health than this, and it is equally as important to look after your gums if you are to avoid complications in later life. Why is this so important, and what steps can you take to improve?
Battle for Supremacy
Your gums are fighting an ever-present battle due to the number of bacteria in your mouth. Some bacteria is good and required for healthy living, while other parts of the microbiome are, unfortunately, pathogenic. This bad bacteria aim to cause as much disruption as possible by attacking your gums and, in turn, causing inflammation. The bacteria will be especially active after you've eaten and will zone in on tiny particles of food ward that may be trapped in or around the gum line.
As Time Goes By
Over the years, this bacteria can penetrate below the gum line and start to eat away at the protective layer. The body will then react to this by causing inflammation, and this will lead to gingivitis or periodontal disease.
As plaque develops around and underneath the gum line, it will cause your teeth to spread and will lead to the destruction of the support network and bones holding your teeth in place. It is a slow process, but it is one that you should avoid at all costs as if you develop periodontitis, complications can be significant.
Dentists now believe that acute periodontal disease can have more far-reaching effects throughout the body. They think that it can lead to heart problems, respiratory disease, diabetes and certain complications when pregnant. This is likely due to an excessive amount of inflammation, present whenever the periodontal disease is in place.
To avoid these problems, you should always make sure that you get rid of tiny food particles by flossing as well as brushing properly. You should eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits and make sure that you drink plenty of water as well.
Action to Take
Above all else, make sure that you do not miss your visits to the dentist. They will inspect your teeth and gums and will clean out any buildup of plaque, removing much of the bad bacteria at the same time.