With gum disease affecting at least 50 percent of American adults (according to the CDC), it’s important that everyone knows how to properly care for their gums in order to keep them in healthy shape. After all, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, and it is closely linked to some serious systemic health problems, as well. Read on to learn how to properly care for your gums, and if you are at all concerned about your periodontal health, make sure to contact Dr. Gregory Herzler, your dentist in Saginaw, MI.
Your Gum Health is a Window Into Your General Health
The state and health of your gums can tell our Saginaw, MI, dentist a lot about not only your oral health, but your overall health, as well. Here are some of the ways that poor gums can affect your health:
- There is a link between gum disease, tooth loss, and cognitive decline in older men.
- There is an increased buildup of beta-amyloid in the brain of those with gum disease, and beta-amyloid is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s.
- There is a correlation between gum disease and heart disease. Those who drink or smoke are also more likely to develop both of these issues.
- There is also a small, but still important, correlation between gum disease and overall cancer risk.
The overall color, shape, and appearance of your gums can also tell us if you might have diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, herpes, anemia, and more.
Caring for Your Gums
The takeaway is that it’s important to maintain healthy gums because your gums can also impact your overall health. Luckily, caring for your gums is surprisingly simple. You can easily prevent gum disease just by:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day: once in the morning and at night before bed
- Flossing daily: this is crucial, for brushing can’t remove plaque buildup between teeth as effectively as flossing can
- Quitting smoking: if you are a smoker, quitting the habit for good can greatly improve the overall health and outlook of your gums
- Eating a healthy diet: avoid sugary and starchy foods, which increase plaque buildup, and maintain a healthy, balanced diet full of lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains, and fibrous veggies and fruits.
Concerned? Give Us a Call
Whether you need to schedule your six-month dental checkup or you are dealing with red, puffy gums, you can always contact Dr. Gregory Herzler's Saginaw dental office at (989) 793-7733 to schedule an appointment with your dentist!