What to do about Tooth Ache

Toothache is a dreadful pain. Having that throbbing feeling of non-stop pain in your mouth that you can’t really soothe can be debilitating. Maybe you’re dealing with a sore and tender mouth, throbbing gums, and even headaches. Whatever the case may be, a toothache can be a sign of a serious problem and you should schedule an appointment with your Dentist to get it checked out. But until then, here are some things you can do at home to ease the pain.

Try a Salt Water Rinse

Swish around warm, salty water in your mouth. It helps! A good rule of thumb is to use a ½ teaspoon of salt for every 8 ounces of water. It doesn’t have to be boiling water, but we recommend making your salt water rinse a bit hotter than lukewarm water. The salt and warm water combination works as an antiseptic. It gently removes bacteria from the infected area which may alleviate the pain. Be sure to give it a few swishes, then spit it out, but don’t swallow it. It may be a good idea to gently floss around the tooth to remove any food particles that may be affecting the pain.

Try OTC Pain Relievers

Acetaminophen is a good pain reliever which we suggest for children. In addition, adults can choose from many of the over-the-counter options such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Remember to follow the instructions carefully when taking OTC medicines and be careful not to mix them with other substances that might cause harmful effects such as alcohol and prescription pain medicines.

Apply a Cold Compress

Swelling typically occurs due to a buildup of fluid or as a result of inflammation. If you’re experiencing swelling of any kind, it’s a good idea to put a pack of ice on your jaw or cheek. This may help ease the pain as the swelling starts to go down. Swelling could also point to a more serious issue such as an abscess. Watch for fever and red gums as this will point to a very serious infection that would require an emergency dental visit.

Use OTC Anesthetics

Did you know you can numb your mouth to the pain? Yes, anesthesia is not just for hospitals. Now you can get them over-the-counter. These pain relieving gels can soothe a toothache in no time. They come in both gel and liquid form. They contain benzocaine, which acts as a temporary numbing agent. You can apply it directly over the area that is sore such as your tooth and gums. For immediate relief.

The remedies outlined in this post should help alleviate the pain until you can get in to see your Dentist. Whether it’s a light throb or an excruciating pain, toothaches can be a sign of tooth decay and other major dental problems. Therefore, seeing your Dentist when this occurs is your best course of action. At our Dental Office, we practice a full scope of general and cosmetic dentistry. If you haven’t had a dental check-up, that’s a great place to start when preventing toothache and tooth decay. Contact us to set up your next dental appointment.

What to do Before Your Scheduled Teeth Cleaning

Most people have their teeth cleaned twice each year, and sometimes more frequently if problems arise. In order to get the most out of each of your dental cleanings, there are a few things you can do which will make the experience more productive and more beneficial for you.

Don’t bother brushing

This may sound odd, but it’s generally better if you don’t brush your teeth before visiting your dentist. If you’ve recently had a meal before going to the office, it’s likely that food will be caught somewhere in your teeth, and may still be there at the time of your cleaning. This will show your dentist exactly where your problem areas may be, and where food routinely would become trapped between teeth. That in turn, will be a cue for him/her to point out to you where you need special attention with brushing and flossing.

Don’t whiten your teeth

Some people have the mistaken notion that whitening their teeth will show the dentist what a great job they’re doing at brushing. In fact, any whitening process that you use is very likely to trigger sensitivity in your teeth, and that’s not what you want when you’re about to undergo a cleaning. If you really want to have your teeth whitened, talk to your dentist about doing it after a cleaning, which is when your teeth will be more receptive to the whitening agents anyway.

Take in questions you may have

Some people have such a dread of going to the dentist, that they just go blank as soon as they arrive at the office, or get in the chair. It would be much better for you if you can jot down any questions you have for your dentist prior to a teeth cleaning, so that you can get things explained which you don’t understand. For instance, if you routinely have sensitivity in a certain area, you should point that out to your dentist so that it can be investigated. When you get in the chair and say nothing, your doctor will have no way of knowing that something might be amiss.

Skip the appointment if you’re sick

There is a good reason to skip your dental appointment if you happen to be under the weather. Whenever your gums are scraped so as to remove tartar, they can become irritated, and small amounts of bacteria can actually be injected into the bloodstream via the mouth. This is a completely normal situation, but if you’re not feeling well to begin with, it can exacerbate the situation and cause you to feel much worse. It’s worth the delay to reschedule your dental appointment if you’re not feeling 100% healthy.

Bring in your oral appliance

If you’re a patient suffering from sleep apnea, and you wear a breathing device at night for opening your airway, you should bring this in when you have your dental appointment. Because tartar can form on your breathing device just like it can form on your teeth, that tartar needs to be removed so that your breathing remains free. Many dentists have ultrasonic cleaning devices in their office which can accomplish the cleaning while your teeth are being operated on.

When you’re ready for an appointment

If you’re moving into the North Andover area of Massachusetts, you’ll want to start off on the right foot with your dental hygiene. Contact Dr. Gary Demetriou for your first dental appointment, and give yourself the opportunity to have your oral care come under the watchful monitoring of a world-class DMD, right in your neighborhood.

Bad Breath and How to Get Rid of It

Bad breath is a serious issue. According to Medical News Today, bad breath affects 1 in 4 people. That’s about 25% of the population. Having bad breath can cause stress, anxiety, embarrassment, and a lot of worry. Also known as halitosis, bad breath is mostly caused by poor oral hygiene. When food particles get stuck in your mouth for a significant amount of time, they can create bacteria that can produce unwanted smells. Couple that with poor hydration, it’s a recipe for disaster. Fortunately there are treatment options you can take to curb bad breath.

As mentioned earlier, since poor hygiene is one of the most common causes of bad breath,  instituting a better oral hygiene routine can quickly nip bad breath in the bud. Flossing once daily, and brushing twice a day is a step in the right direction. Don’t forget to brush your tongue! We get so wrapped up in how to properly brush our teeth, that sometimes we forget about our tongue. Often times, bacteria that causes bad breath is present on the tongue. So, be sure to brush it gently and reach as far back as you can with the toothbrush in order to cover the entire tongue. Also, be aware of the level of dryness in your mouth. Since bacteria can flourish in a dry mouth, it’s advised to drink water consistently throughout the day. Speaking of hydration, your saliva is masterful at managing bad breath. Evidence suggests that the more saliva you have in your mouth, the fresher your breath will be. Chewing sugar-free gum and eating snacks that require a lot of chewing are great ways to promote healthy saliva flow in your mouth.

Some other things you can do to stop bad breath is cutting out unhealthy habits such as smoking tobacco and eating too much sugar. In fact, diet plays a huge role in overall health. It’s no wonder that diet also contributes to what’s going on in our mouth. For example, it’s quite possible you’ve heard that onions and garlic cause bad breath, but do you know how? When these foods breakdown in the system during digestion, they release chemicals in the bloodstream that can cause bad breath. Coffee and alcohol can also contribute to bad breath. Pay attention to what you eat. It could make a difference.

In addition to managing oral hygiene at home, be sure to see your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleaning. Food particles can build up which makes it harder to get with just flossing and brushing. Your dentist has special teeth cleaning tools that will give you a thorough cleaning. This can alleviate bad breath and many other oral ailments you may encounter. Additionally, talk to your dentist about treatment options for bad breath. He/She may be able to prescribe a special antibacterial toothpaste or mouthwash to combat bad breath.

We’re here to support your oral health. If you need a regular cleaning, an emergency visit, or any other dental services, give us a call. Gary C. Demetriou, D.M.D. uses the latest in dental technology to be able to enhance your smile using a wide variety of techniques, depending on what is necessary to you, our patient. Check out our website to learn more about the different options you have when coming in for your visit.

Teeth and Diabetes – What You Don’t Know

Diabetes is a disease affecting over 29 million people in America. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. While there is much research involved in managing the disease, there is no cure. It affects your body’s ability to transport sugar from your blood to the cells in various parts of your body that need it for energy. Instead, the sugar just remains in your blood causing many problems with your organs, limbs, eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart, and even your mouth.

Yes, even your mouth is affected by diabetes. The connection between teeth and diabetes is something most people are not even aware of. For example did you know that diabetes affects your mouth’s ability to produce saliva? Saliva is responsible for helping you speak, taste food, and manage bacteria in your mouth. If diabetes is left untreated, you might have issues producing saliva in your mouth. This can lead to gingivitis, infections inside you mouth, as well as a higher risk of cavities.

Let’s talk about gum disease. Gum disease, also known as Periodontitis, is an infection of the gums surrounding your teeth. This disease is caused by poor brushing and flossing habits which lead to plaque buildup. Once plaque hardens it becomes tartar which eventually causes sore and bleeding gums, painful gums, painful chewing, and tooth loss. A common risk factor for gum disease is diabetes. Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease affecting those living with diabetes, affecting nearly 22% of those diagnosed. Gum problems may occur in people with diabetes because of poor blood sugar control. People with diabetes have a greater inflammatory response to the bacteria in the mouth thus causing the heightened risk.

If you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, talk to your dentist. Your dentist can help you fight diabetes! Studies suggest that the treatment of serious gum (periodontal) disease in diabetics with Type 2 diabetes may lower their blood sugar levels which can significantly decrease the progression of the disease. It’s very important to practice good oral hygiene in order to reduce risk of gum disease. Plus, having regular deep cleanings by a professional can help manage the common risk factors and even the disease itself.

Working together with your dentist can offer the best approach to oral health care, especially when living with ailments such as diabetes. Maintaining a consistent at-home routine such as avoiding smoking, cleaning dentures daily, brushing twice daily and flossing once per day, and eating healthy foods will put you on the best path to oral health. Combine that with regular visits with your dentist, you’ll be giving your oral health the rightful attention it needs. Your smile is one of your best assets and we are here to help you keep it healthy and in good shape.

We’d love to talk to you about your dental needs. Dr. Demetriou practices a full scope of general and cosmetic dentistry. A dental checkup can benefit more than just your teeth! Dentists can spot a variety of other health problems just by looking into your mouth. Our office is located at 451 Andover Street, Suite G8, North Andover, MA. Call us at 1 978-794-0010.

10 Ways To Improve Your Smile

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. It can brighten up someone’s day. It can change someone’s mood. It can help you obtain favor with people. A good smile can take you a long way. It carries happiness and joy. It communicates that you are confident in yourself and believe in what you are saying. Your best smile is important for your own self-esteem, your relationships, and your career or business endeavors. In fact, a smile is universal! Everyone understands a smile, even someone who doesn’t speak your language. Your smile is one of your biggest assets and it’s in your best interest to take care of it. Here are 10 ways to improve your smile.

Eat Healthy Foods

Did you know apples, carrots, and celery act as natural stain removers? They increase saliva production which is your own personal cleansing agent for the mouth. There are other foods that can help clean your mouth and whiten your teeth as well such as strawberries, seeds, and nuts.

Teeth Whitening

A quick look down the dental aisle will turn up several different over the counter whitening solutions. There are also in-office procedures your Dentist can do as well. Teeth whitening is a wonderful and safe way to brighten your smile. Talk with your Dentist about the best options for you.

Braces

In certain cases, braces may be necessary to straighten up crooked or crowded teeth. Although, metal brackets are conventional, they are not your only option. Thanks to technological advances in treatments, you can also opt for removable aligners, “invisible braces,’ or clear plastic brackets.

Dental Bridges

All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be aware of their importance to your appearance and dental health. Your teeth work together for many daily functions from eating to speaking. With missing teeth, it’s difficult to do these things clearly and effectively. A great way to fill the gap left by one or more missing teeth is a dental bridge.

Veneers

Now that our office offers Lumineers, you can have the smile you have always wanted with less time and far more comfort than ever imagined. The Lumineers are digitally designed to be as thin as a contact lens, while still being strong enough to handle every day wear and tear. As a result, they can be seamlessly applied over your current teeth for the perfect, natural-looking smile you have always dreamed of having. Lumineers are the #1 patient preferred veneer system in the world.

Bonding

Need to fix your smile? Consider bonding. Bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured, or discolored tooth. Bonding is done in a single visit, unlike veneers, dentures, and bridges which are manufactured in a laboratory and require a customized mold to achieve a proper fit. Bonding is a very easy and inexpensive cosmetic dental procedure, which is mostly used to improve the appearance of a discolored or chipped tooth.

Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing is your first defense when it comes to maintaining a healthy smile. We recommend brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day to keep your teeth clean and your mouth fresh.

Read the Label

Not all toothpaste is created equal. That’s why you should always take a minute to read the labels before buying a tube at the market. You’ll find a lot of the ingredients work to protect the whiteness and sparkle of your teeth, but what are all those other ingredients for? Do you need them?  Triclosan, Dyes, Saccharin, and Sodium lauryl sulfate are ingredients you can do without!

Seeing Your Dentist Twice a Year

There are reasons why you should see your dentist at least twice a year. Plaque removal is a great reason for starters. This residue is hard to see, but it packs an ugly punch. Plaque is a soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth over time. If not addressed properly, plaque can lead to tartar – a hardened form of plaque that eats away at tooth enamel, causes tooth decay and eventually leads to gum disease, and bone loss around your gums. Regular visits to the dentist can help you better manage plaque and tartar buildup to prevent these problems before they even start.

Exercise

If you can believe it there are exercises to help improve the muscles in your face. Did you know it takes 43 muscles to smile? Well, these muscles around your smile can be sculpted to improve the look of your smile in countless ways. For example, the Cheek Lifter is an exercise that lifts sagging cheeks and helps develop the upper lip.

If you’re interested in improving your smile, we can help! Gary C. Demetriou, D.M.D. uses the latest in dental technology to be able to enhance your smile using a wide variety of techniques, depending on what is necessary to each patient. Call our office at 978-794-0010 and set up your appointment today.

What is a Dental Emergency

If you encountered a weird pain in your tooth or even cracked a tooth on a holiday or after hours, what would you do? Do you know the difference between a standard dental issue that can wait until business hours and a dental emergency?

Knowing what would warrant an ER visit or what events can lead to you seeing an Emergency Dentist can help you feel confident in making quick decisions after experiencing a dental issue. Not everyone is aware of what a dental emergency actually is, so we’re hoping these tips can help just in case anything were to happen in the future.

Here are some questions you can ask to help determine if an event you’re experiencing warrants emergency care.

  • What kind of pain are you in? Is it severe? Extremely severe pain and bleeding are signs of an emergency.
  • Did you lose a tooth? Seeing a dentist quickly after losing a tooth can prevent further harm.
  • What about teeth that are loose? Do you feel like teeth have been knocked out of their place? If you’re an adult, having loose teeth is a serious problem and you should see a dentist immediately if you encounter this situation.
  • Do you have an infection? A serious infection or a pocket of pus forming in your mouth can be life threatening. You might also notice swelling or knots on your gums or swelling around your face as well. You should see a dentist immediately if you find yourself in this unfortunate predicament.
  • Are you bleeding from the mouth? Any type of bleeding from your mouth is a serious sign of emergency and you should see a healthcare professional immediately.

There are many dental incidents that might warrant an emergency room visit. But a general rule to follow is this, anytime you need to stop bleeding, eliminate severe pain, or save a tooth, it’s an emergency. In addition, if you encounter a severe infection in your mouth, it’s time to visit the emergency room.

On the other hand, there are some cases that might seem to warrant an emergency visit, but they actually can wait. These cases are those that are not life threatening and do not cause severe trauma. For example, a chipped or cracked tooth can wait until you can see a dentist during regular business hours. Although, if the tooth is causing severe pain or causing injury in your mouth, you will need to see an emergency dentist. Likewise, a toothache, can wait unless you experience any of the severe symptoms described above.

It’s important to make sure you’re taking care of your teeth and gums with regular brushing and flossing to give your teeth the absolute best chance at surviving an incident. We believe that being proactive is the best healthcare you can give yourself. Also, regular visits to your dentist will help you maintain excellent oral health and be able to combat any potential problems in a proactive manner as well. If you’re dealing with a dental emergency, it’s vital to make the most of your time and get yourself to an emergency healthcare professional, preferably an emergency dentist.

Surviving the Holiday Dental Woes

It’s time for good cheer, gift giving, and making merry this holiday season. There are so many things to consider such as what gifts you’ll get for friends and loved ones, what you’ll wear to holiday parties, and how to navigate family get togethers. It’s been said that the holiday season can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Indeed there’s a lot to consider. However, sometimes we forget about our health, more specifically oral health.  All those sugary cookies, desserts, and sweet treats you’ll be eating over the holidays this year can take a toll on your teeth.

Here’s are four easy steps to combat the holiday dental woes.

Step 1: Put a limit on sugar consumption (ahead of time).

We all are familiar with the infamous relationship between sugar and oral health. Sugar plays a very large role in our overall food consumption here in the United States. The effect of sugar on our overall health can be quite sobering if you dare to look into it. Consequently, sugar’s impact on oral health is staggering. The truth is sugar in and of itself does not cause harm to your teeth. Rather, it’s the unfortunate chain of events occuring after eating that delectable sugar cookie that causes the harm. You see, unhealthy bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar molecules. This process is what creates plaque buildup that eventually leads to tooth decay. Therefore, eating less sugar during the holidays would be a smart way to avoid suffering from cavities, or worse tooth loss. Put a limit on how much dessert you will eat. Eat your dessert on smaller plates so it feels like you’re eating more.

Step 2: Plan to drink more water.

Water can be described as the magic elixir of life. It can do wonders for your body including hydration, flushing toxins out of your body, and aiding in digestion. Additionally, water can help rinse your mouth out and pass any extra sugar digestive tract preventing it from sitting in your mouth and attracting bacteria. Drinking more water also helps to fill up your belly and give you a more full feeling which can deter overeating.

Step 3: Brush.

It may seem extra hard to get your twice daily tooth brushing in during the holidays. But it can make a big difference. Brushing your teeth twice a day especially after eating sugary foods and consuming acids, will help keep your smile bright and clean. Remember to make your each brushing time last for two minutes in order to reap the maximum results.

Step 4: Schedule your dental cleaning after the holidays.

Just in case you do build up extra plaque during the holidays, you can clear it out with a dental visit. Plan ahead and schedule a visit with your dentist to coincide with the holidays. Having a dental visit right after the holidays will help you to remain accountable to yourself in order to be prepared for the visit. Also, the timing of the visit right after the holidays will ensure you have a teeth cleaning done right as the new year kicks in.

You don’t have to let your oral health take a back seat during the holidays. Be proactive with yourself and your family so that you can survive the holidays with a healthy smile.

Importance Of A Stunning Smile

Have you ever noticed that most celebrities have beautiful smiles? Everyone from reporters to actors to reality stars all have the most stunning smile. What gives? Hollywood has never ignored the secrets of a beautiful smile and neither should you.

Your smile is important! Without it, you’ll miss out on the wonderful things that a stunning smile affords you and the people around you. For example, did you know that a smile is contagious? Two studies from 2002 and 2011 at Uppsala University in Sweden demonstrated that when people smile at you, it actually lowers the control you have over your facial muscles making you smile back. The studies also found that people have a really hard time frowning when they are confronted with a smile. Spread the joy. Try smiling at someone the next time you’re in public and see what happens.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have a stunning smile that you can feel confident showcasing, you won’t smile as often. Not smiling causes you to miss out on some wonderful things in life.

These are the benefits you’ll miss out on without a stunning smile…

Smiling releases endorphins helpful to relieving stress. Stress in the body leads to all sorts of problems. Thus, smiling boosts your immune system. Your entire body relaxes when you smile giving way to tension relief, expelling toxins, and improving your overall mood. In fact, when you’re in a bad mood, go ahead and smile anyway. Enjoy the natural muscle relaxant you can generate from a hearty smile.

The benefits of a stunning smile are incredible! Even if you’re speaking to someone who speaks a different language, a smile is universal. Everyone knows what a smile means, even among people from different cultures. When you smile, you are seen as sociable. It sets people around you at ease making them feel more comfortable. People with a great smile get more promotions because of this. They appear more attractive and attract more partners, whether in romance or business.

Speaking of professional relationships, smiling actually projects more confidence which helps salespeople sell more and it also helps entrepreneurs attract more clients. It works the same way in personal relationships. A stunning smile can help you make more friends and schmooze with more confidence at parties and in other social situations.  

The good news is, practically everyone can have a stunning smile. Whether you need teeth whitening, crowns, or dentures, we can help you get the smile you deserve. Don’t spend another day worrying about an unattractive smile. You can have confidence in your smile with just 1 visit to your dentist.

Today’s advanced dental treatments and materials can give you a healthier, more complete smile that can last you a lifetime. Your North Andover, MA dentist, Dr. Demetriou, can help revitalize and maintain your teeth and gums, giving you the smile you’ve always wanted. To do this, Dr. Demetriou and his staff use the most advanced technologies in modern dentistry. Stop by our office to see our staff or set up an appointment on our website.

Fun Facts About Saliva

Did you know that you could potentially produce enough saliva to fill two bathtubs a year? In fact, every day your body produces about 2-4 pints of saliva. Most saliva is produced in the afternoon while a smaller amount is produced in the evening and at night.

Saliva is one of nature’s most fascinating fluids and your body constantly produces it.

The fact is, saliva is incredibly beneficial to your oral health and your body as a whole. One of the benefits of saliva is that it aids in preventing tooth decay. The enzymes present in saliva work together to break down food molecules and facilitate salivary flow that washes away sugars and food particles that can cause tooth decay. In addition, saliva contains mineral salts such as calcium and phosphate ions which promote remineralization of tooth enamel while at the same time slowing down the process of demineralization.

Here are some other fun facts about saliva.

  • Without saliva, you would not be able to taste the wonderful flavors of food. Saliva acts as a solvent as it dissolves food molecules in order for your taste buds to recognize flavor like the salt crisp of potato chips or the sweet taste of a chocolate bar.
  • Saliva acts as a protective barrier for your teeth and gums. The fluids from saliva lubricate your mouth and help to balance acidity in your mouth.
  • Saliva is one of the first things to activate digestion. Enzymes present in saliva help to break down starches and fats.
  • Have you ever noticed that wounds in your mouth heal faster than anywhere else on your body? That’s due to saliva! Saliva contains healing agents that can repair cuts, scrapes, and bruises in your mouth at a faster rate than anywhere else on your body.
  • Saliva kills bacteria. Ever wonder why morning breath smells bad? It’s due to low levels of saliva. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t produce as much saliva while you’re sleeping, therefore your saliva is not able to kill bacteria in the same way it does while you’re awake.
  • Saliva contains disease-fighting substances that can help prevent dental infections.
  • You may be able to control the amount of saliva in your mouth. The amount of saliva in your mouth can increase when you taste, smell, or even think of food.
  • Although saliva is 99% water, it is much thicker than actual water due to mucus.  
  • Your body is an expert at recycling! Saliva comes from blood. As your blood passes through certain glands, water exits the blood and is recycled into saliva.
  • Saliva helps you speak. The moisture in your mouth helps you to move around your tongue so that you can vocalize different sounds and speech patterns.

These are just a few interesting facts about saliva. There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Saliva may not get a lot of attention when it comes to body image and overall health, but saliva has a role in many daily functions of the body you aren’t even aware of. Have questions about dry mouth? Learn more about oral health on our website or call us (978-794-0010) to set up an appointment.

How to Take Care of your Gums

Your gums, also known as gingiva, are a very important part of oral health. They seamlessly connect your teeth to the rest of your body by providing a layer of soft tissue around your teeth and a strong barrier of protection against friction from food. The gums are a vital part of oral health, without the proper care gingivitis can set in which can lead to more serious conditions like periodontitis. Here are a number of things you can do to take care of your gums and avoid loose teeth or tooth loss.

Brush and Floss

Brushing and flossing is your first defense when it comes to taking care of your gums. In fact, flossing actually does 40% of the work in this dynamic power combo.  Brushing daily washes away food particles, grime, and plaque. Flossing gets into those hard to reach areas and clears trapped food. The smooth glide of the floss between your teeth and gums might not seem like much, but overtime this daily action saves your gums from irritation, clears out sticky bacteria, and avoids plaque. It’s the best gift you can give yourself if you want to have strong and healthy teeth well into old age.

Eat Healthy

It doesn’t stop at the brushing and flossing, though. The foods you eat have a big role in oral health as well. Some foods can be detrimental to your gums if not eaten in moderation such as candy and foods high in sugar. According to a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating high amounts of sugar can contribute to gum disease. The study goes on to say that “even after age, body weight, diabetes, income level, and other factors associated with dental problems were controlled for,” sugar was found to be a major contributing factor to periodontal disease. Consider adding more leafy vegetables such as spinach and red leaf lettuce to your diet. These foods have a healthy concentration of vitamin C and reduces inflammation which is great for gum health. Also, here’s a fun fact – onions are a fantastic food for gum health! The microbial properties in onions target and breaks down common types of bacteria in your mouth that cause gum disease and cavities.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking is dangerous. Harvard Health reports that chain smokers are about three times as likely as nonsmokers to have periodontitis. That risk gets even higher when smokers smoke more than a pack and a half of cigarettes per day.

Frequent Dental Visits

Visiting your dentist regularly is another way to ensure healthy gums. Even with regular brushing and flossing, plaque buildup can find small crevices in which to hide while wreaking havoc on your oral health. If not addressed properly, plaque can lead to tartar – a hardened form of plaque that eats away at tooth enamel, causes tooth decay and eventually leads to gum disease. Your dentist can clear that right up! That’s one of the reasons it’s important to keep those twice yearly dental appointments.

Your gums are important. And it’s important to keep them strong and healthy. We love seeing you, but we don’t want to see you for gum disease when it can be avoided. You are your best health advocate and doing things to prevent unwanted illness should be your top priority. Therefore, follow these tips and you’ll have the best defense against gum disease.