Healthy teeth and gums not only impart a radiant smile, but studies have revealed that heart diseases and stroke can be linked to gum diseases. So, how do we take care of our teeth, and especially hearts..
1. What causes gum disease-
Our mouth is an active house for bacteria and it forms a layer of ‘plaque’ along with the mucus and saliva in the mouth. Brushing helps get rid of this plaque and professional cleaning is required for removing the hard form of plaque called ‘tartar’.
If plaque and tartar stay on the teeth for a longer time, they cause inflammation of the gums called ‘gingivitis’ that can be really harmful and painful. And if not treated in time, it can advance to ‘periodontitis’ -that is inflammation around the tooth. It causes the gums to recede down to the bone and connective tissues that hold the teeth in place.
Some other factors that may induce gum diseases are-
- Hormonal changes in girls/women
- Genetic susceptibility
2. How to fight gum diseases-
- Brush twice- Brushing morning and evening are the two most crucial times of the day to brush your teeth as it effectively removes any plaque built up during the night.
- Tongue Cleaner- Use a tongue cleaner or the toothbrush itself to clean your tongue to get rid of harmful bacteria staying on the tongue.
- Mouthwash- Opt for alcohol-free mouthwashes to eliminate odour-causing bacteria. Mouthwash containing Chlorhexidine and Chlorine Dioxide are good for your health.
- Chewing gums- Many dentists recommend gums containing Xylitol (a sugar alcohol which bacteria can’t feed on) as it stimulates saliva flow.
- Rinse between meals- A good way to freshen breath and removing food particles that bacteria thrive on.
- Change your toothbrush after a bout of flu, cold, sore throat or mouth sores.
- Don’t let the bristles of family members’ brushes touch.
- Don’t store damp toothbrush in a closed container.