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Tips for Healthier Gums

When it comes to oral health, it’s no secret that a lot of emphasis is rightfully placed on caring for the teeth. But just caring for your teeth is not enough. There is another part of the mouth that often gets neglected – and it requires just as much care as your teeth. It’s your gums! Here’s why your gums are vital to not just your oral health, but also your oral health - and what you can do to keep them healthy.

Why Is Gum Health Important?

Ever heard the phrase "your eyes are the windows to your soul?" Well, your gums are a window to the rest of your body. Any bacteria that enters through your mouth can be transmitted through your gums into your bloodstream, causing myriad health problems. Just a few of the problems oral bacteria and periodontal (gum) disease can cause are high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, and now scientists have located a link between gum infections and Alzheimer’s disease.

With all these dangerous conditions, neglecting your gums could literally kill you.

So how do you care for your gums?

Floss

Caring for your gums may be easier than you think. The first step to excellent gum health? Flossing. That’s really it! Flossing your teeth removes about 40 percent of the plaque and bacteria that brushing leaves behind. Flossing at least once a day clears that bacteria away from the gums and lessens the risk of it finding its way into your bloodstream.

Brush

Another way to keep those gums healthy is simply to brush your teeth. While flossing gets between the teeth, you still need to get the visible surfaces clean. Aim to brush twice a day for two minutes at a time, minimum.

Rinse

Did you know it doesn’t really matter whether you use mouthwash before or after brushing? It’s true. Some people like to rinse before to break up plaque and make the toothbrush’s job easier, while others prefer the mouthwash to act as an encore to brushing and flossing. No matter when you do it, rinsing the mouth with mouthwash is a great way to help clear away debris and keep the gums healthy.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is an in-office dental procedure where Dr. Abelar will clean out the "pockets" of tissue that form in the gums around the base of your teeth. These pockets can harbor plaque and bacteria and create the perfect conditions for gum disease. Often, scaling and root planing is done for patients who already have gum disease, but if your gum pockets measure too deep, even without gum disease, Dr. Abelar may recommend a scaling and root planing procedure.

Regular Dental Exams

Seems like a no-brainer, right? But going to regular dental exams is a great way to keep an eye on your oral health. Why wait for a problem with your gums to start? Visiting Dr. Abelar twice a year can help keep your gum health in check and prevent any potential problems before they ever have a chance to begin.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Abelar, please call 858-523-1400.

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