If you’re concerned about possible gum issues, you’re not alone. Millions of adults have some type of gum disease, yet many of us are unaware. You may find it surprising that one in four adults globally has some type of gum disease, whether it’s at a mild, moderate or severe stage.
Eating an apple can take a while. And that’s a good thing for your mouth. The munching action spurs a cleansing action that shakes up the plaque that clings to gums and teeth. Stock up on apples, but be sure to rinse with mouthwash afterward. Even healthy foods like apples can expose your mouth to acids.
Milk, and other dairy foods such as cheese and yogurt are not only packed with bone-fortifying calcium, but also with the protein casein, which research suggests reduces acid levels in the mouth. In addition, drinking milk can neutralize acids produced by plaque bacteria. Note: Drinking milk with cereal or dessert doesn't have the same benefit as direct consumption after eating. No milk around? Eat a piece of cheese instead.
Rinsing twice a day isn’t just a great way to keep your breath fresh*. It’s the key to getting your whole mouth clean. The truth is that brushing alone only gets your mouth 25% clean. The power of the swish fights bacteria in your whole mouth, – teeth and gums. But it should be used twice a day to reach its deep-clean effectiveness. After all, germs are in your mouth all day, every day, and one swish only protects you for 12 hours.
The most common cause of irritated gums is an inconsistent oral care routine at home. Improper brushing technique can also exacerbate these issues. Not brushing and flossing regularly or properly allows food and bacteria to lodge in between the tooth and gums creating a home for bacteria to multiply and become dental plaque. This buildup of plaque at the gum line, if not removed with a good, healthy clean-mouth routine, can harden into tartar, which can only be removed with professional dental tools.
Other unique changes in your mouth spurred by gum disease could also include tender-to-the-touch gums, odd new spaces forming between your teeth, loose teeth and/or a change in your bite or the way your teeth fit together when you bite. These are signs you should not ignore. If you take control of your gum situation, there's still a chance for you to avoid advanced gum disease.
This frozen treat harms gums, especially those that are already vulnerable. In general, the added sugars in most sweets—from cookies to sodas—are bad news for your gums, because the sugars bind to gums, triggering the release of eroding acids. What’s more, ice cream’s icy temperature can irritate gums where they have already started wearing away, exposing roots to hot and cold sensations.
Just as sugary diets do not promote healthy, firm gums, highly acidic diets are also gum offenders. And while tomatoes are healthy in many regards and rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to lower stroke risk, the juicy fruit is also highly acidic. Eating such foods is like bathing your teeth in acid that wears away gums and promotes decay.
White bread, along with other foods that are full of starches made from white flour, are not friends to your gums. While it may surprise you, bread, crackers and chips can be just as damaging to healthy gums as candy.
In addition to being high in sugar, sports drinks can also erode gums and promote tooth decay, because they are also high in acid. A 2012 study found gums and teeth are attacked by the acid in sports drinks, after five consecutive days of exposure to them.
When you’re pregnant, or sometimes even during typical monthly menstrual cycles, hormones can rise and fall, making gums more susceptible to gum disease. Expecting a baby does not mean you automatically have problems with your gums or teeth. It just means you’ll want to take extra-special care of your mouth during this time to maintain your oral health.