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September is National Gum Care Month

flossy Did you know that September is National Gum Care Month? Health care providers across the country will be promoting awareness of how to care for your gums, what dangers periodontal diseases present, and signs and symptoms to look for.

Teeth and Gum Care

This September is the time to learn about all the benefits of regular teeth and gum care and incorporate it into your daily routine. With routine care, your teeth and gums can stay healthy, and the healthier they are, the healthier you are.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice per day, preferably a half hour after you eat each meal.  Any enamel that has softened from the acid formed while eating has a chance to re-harden, so you don't brush it away. The acid you are brushing away, however, is what causes cavities.
  • Floss at least once per day to remove any food lodged in between your teeth that your toothbrush missed.
  • Rinse with antiseptic mouthwash at least once per day to kill the bacteria that cause plaque and leads to teeth and gum disease.
  • Eat healthy foods while decreasing your intake of starches and sugars, which cause more acid to form on your teeth.
  • Massage your gums daily to increase blood flow to them, keeping them healthy and strong.

Periodontal Disease

Your gums act are a barrier that, when healthy, prevent inflammation that can damage the rest of your body. Gum disease breaks that barrier and makes you more susceptible to developing Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It is also associated with premature or low birth weight babies.

Your gums are designed to protect your teeth and the structures that hold them in place. Periodontal disease begins when plaque collects between your gums and teeth. They could become infected, putting both your gums and your teeth at risk. If left to progress, periodontal disease becomes more difficult, expensive, and painful to treat.

Signs and Symptoms

Periodontitis is an inflammation and/or infection of the gums.  Here are the signs and symptoms to look for:

  • Swollen/tender gums
  • Receding gums
  • Red/purplish gums
  • Bad breath/taste
  • New spaces between teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Change in your bite

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see your dental care provider as soon as possible. Also, make sure you're scheduling regular checkups to stay ahead of potential issues. With the proper teeth and gum care, you can avoid further problems down the road.

Take care of your gums, and your gums will take care of you! This September is the month to instill good habits that will make keeping your gums healthy a breeze.