5 Ways to Lower Your Risk for Gingivitis

With so much going on in our fast-paced lives, brushing twice a day and flossing daily sometimes get overlooked. 

Unfortunately, if you skip these steps too often, bacteria accumulate on your teeth and cause plaque to form. Next thing you know, your gums bleed a bit when you brush and may feel tender or inflamed. 

This is the definition of gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. It can also be accompanied by other unpleasant symptoms like bad breath, gum recession, and darkening of your gums. 

On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Dr. Marlisa Popper, Dr. Jason Popper, and Dr. Howard Popper provide valuable patient education on gum and tooth care, and treat all forms of gum disease, from early stage gingivitis to advanced periodontitis. 

The sooner you visit Popper Dental, the better monitored and treated your gums will be. 

Why is it important to care for your gums?

When plaque forms on your teeth, it’s the result of the mingling of sugars and carbohydrates in what you eat and the bacteria that exist in your mouth. It forms frequently, and that’s why it’s important to rid your teeth of it daily.

If plaque isn’t removed by brushing, it hardens and settles under your gum line. It then morphs into tartar, which is a sponge for bacteria. As the tartar makes continuous contact with your gums, they become irritated. 

Tartar can’t be brushed off and can only be removed through a cleaning in your dentist’s office. 

It’s vital to take care of tartar, because as gum inflammation worsens, it can lead to irreversible bone and tissue damage, loose teeth, and other serious problems

The five best ways to lower your gingivitis risk

Our patients ask us frequently about how they best can reduce their chances of getting gingivitis, thus eliminating their risk for periodontitis altogether. Here are our top five:

1. Up your vitamin C and E

Foods that are high in these vitamins have powerful antioxidant properties. This means they strengthen your immune system, so you’re better able to fight infection.

Vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, and tropical fruits like guava and papaya. To get a boost of vitamin E, make sure to use vegetable oils, snack on nuts and seeds, and make salads that contain leafy greens. Many foods are also fortified with vitamin E.

2. Cut out the cigarettes

Here’s yet another reason that you should steer clear of any and all tobacco products. They actually boost your chances of developing gingivitis seven-fold.

3. Don’t be hard on your teeth

You’re at greater risk for gingivitis if you clench or grind your teeth. You may do this while you sleep, or you may be unaware that you do it when you’re stressed. When you visit us, we assess you for teeth grinding and can provide you with a mouth guard. 

4. Speaking of stress, don’t let it take over

Since stress weakens your immune response, it behooves you to do all you can to manage it. Take time to walk with a friend, enjoy a yoga class, or watch a movie that makes you chuckle.

5. Embrace consistency

We can’t stress enough the critical role that daily tooth and gum maintenance plays in your gum health, both present and future. Taking that few minutes a day to brush and floss with intention truly makes all the difference. 

A few minutes each day can save you hours of discomfort and time in the dentist’s chair later. 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

We encourage all our patients to go the preventive route and stop gingivitis before it starts, but if you’re affected by it, we’re here. We’re experts at performing procedures that can reverse the damage gingivitis causes, a type of deep cleaning called scaling and root planing. 

Don’t despair if you have periodontitis either. We can clear up any infection in your mouth by prescribing antibiotics, and we have the capability to treat you surgically as well.

At Popper Dental, we won’t shame you for whatever condition your gums are in. We’re solution-oriented and committed to restoring your gums, which form the foundation of your oral health.

Call our New York City office to discuss the state of your gum health, or book an appointment online.

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