If you see blood when brushing or flossing your teeth, this isn’t normal and is a warning sign of gum disease, a condition that affects both children and adults and can lead to more serious infections, such as periodontitis or even the loss of teeth.
Treating any condition during its early stages is key to reduce the risks and reverse it. There are a few tips you can follow when it comes to your oral hygiene that can help reverse gum disease.
Detecting the signs early
Gum disease is a result of harmful bacteria clinging to your teeth in the form of plaque. The factors that can make it worse are bad oral hygiene, smoking, medications that cause dry mouth, hormonal changes, genetics, diabetes, or other conditions that affect your immune system and compromise your ability to fight infection.
Recognizing and treating early signs of gingivitis is crucial to attacking the condition and stopping it from evolving and affecting the bones surrounding your teeth. If you’re experiencing red or swollen gums, chronic bad breath, bleeding when brushing or flossing, sensitive teeth and/or heavy tartar build up, you need to take action now.
Besides scheduling a visit to your dentist, there are several oral hygiene tips you can apply in order to fight gingivitis, such as learning how to brush your teeth to reduce gum disease.
How to brush your teeth to reduce gum disease
Since brushing helps remove bacteria and food particles that when left hanging around the teeth can irritate the gums and lead to gum disease, it’s important that you brush at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day.
It’s important to be gentle when brushing so that you don’t wear away your tooth enamel, but you should be thorough and make sure you’ve covered the outer and inside surfaces of the teeth, reaching in between the crevices and hard to reach spots.
Be sure that you’re using the right toothbrush, one that isn’t too old or large, but actually small enough to get to the hard spots. By brushing at a 45-degree angle with the brush pointing down towards the gums, you’ll be making sure to clean the gum line, which is one of the top places where plaque builds up.
An electric brush or interdental brush can be great allies when trying to reduce gum disease. Don’t forget to clean your tongue thoroughly with a tongue scraper, since bacteria likes to build up in there as well. Add a fluoride mouthwash to rinse your mouth after brushing and flossing and you’ll be sure to reduce gum disease in no time.