In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, adding an alcohol-free mouthwash like Waken’s mouthwashes into your routine can actually help to prevent gum disease from occurring. Before we delve into the optimum dental care routine and how Waken mouthwashes can help to protect your gums, we should firstly outline what exactly gum disease is and how to recognise it.
WHAT IS GUM DISEASE?
Gum disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults. The two most common forms are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a milder version of gum disease where just the gums are infected. If it is left untreated the infection can travel below your gum line and into the bone. Both forms of gum disease have also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Scary stuff right? Don’t panic though! According to the NHS, most adults in the UK have experienced mild gum disease at least once in their lifetime and it’s completely treatable before it can become more problematic. Early detection is key.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF GUM DISEASE?
Signs of gum disease are bad breath, bleeding when brushing and red and swollen gums. Rest assured that tooth loss only occurs when the disease is in its advanced stage and it is left untreated. If you do have any signs of gum disease, please make sure you see your dentist who can recommend a suitable treatment to prevent it from getting worse.
Some good news is that gum disease is preventable. The most common cause of gum disease is bad oral hygiene. Not brushing your teeth properly and/or regularly can cause plaque to build up. The build up of plaque can cause gum disease as over time, the bacteria in the plaque can irritate your gums, making them inflamed and sore.
Additional risk factors for gum disease include smoking, diabetes and pregnancy (hormonal changes can make gums more vulnerable to plaque).*
ORAL HYGIENE TIPS TO PREVENT GUM DISEASE
The best way to prevent gum disease is to practise good oral hygiene everyday and to use products such as mouthwashes and toothpaste with sodium fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can help to prevent tooth decay. In fact, some areas of the UK have added it in to the water supply through a process called fluoridation as it’s so pivotal for dental health.
Most recently, there have been talks to extend fluoridation nationwide to enhance our oral health.
Brush your teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste for 2 minutes first thing in the morning and just before you go to bed every day. Once you have finished, spit out the toothpaste (never rinse as it will wash away the fluoride). Use floss before you brush your teeth to remove plaque that forms along the gumline.
Using a mouthwash correctly can also help to protect you from gum disease but it’s important to note that no mouthwash is a substitute for brushing and flossing.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO PREVENT GUM PROBLEMS?
Eat a healthy diet that is rich in vegetables, legumes and low in sugar, don’t smoke or give up smoking if you do and visit your dentist once every 6 months for check ups to ensure your gums are healthy.