Common Habits That can Harm Your Gums

Nail bitingWe all know that oral health is an essential part of self-confidence and even overall health. While the look of our teeth is often at the forefront of what we assume oral health is, the health of our gums is just as important. The gums serve as the foundation for a great smile, by holding the teeth firmly into place. With this in mind, it’s important to prioritize gum health for a beautiful smile that is healthy from the inside out. Although there are plenty of options out there such as surgical periodontal disease therapy or non-surgical periodontal disease therapy, we believe prevention is the best tool for maintaining healthy gums. So, how can you go about maintaining excellent periodontal health? A great way of doing this is by identifying any habits you may have that harm your gums. Let’s take a look at some of the most common habits that can unknowingly cost you your gum health.

Are You Harming Your Gums and Smile?

You could be unknowingly harming your gums and teeth in a number of ways. Here’s a brief look at some of the most common habits that cause damage to your gums and smile:

Using a hard-bristled toothbrush: Using a hard-bristled toothbrush can put an excess amount of pressure on gums, which can cause gum recession. Many people might assume that using something with hard bristles will be more effective at removing plaque from our teeth. In truth, it ends up being more harmful. This, in combination with brushing back and forth instead of in small circles, causes damage to gum tissue. Eventually, this damage will cause the gums to recede. To avoid this problem, choose a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently remove plaque. An even better option is an electric toothbrush so you won’t mistakenly brush too hard. Either way, it’s important to ditch the hard-bristled tooth brush for something not as abrasive on your gums.

Aggressive flossing: Going along with the last point, being too aggressive with flossing can be detrimental to your gum health too. It’s important to gently wedge the floss between your teeth and follow the curve of your gums. Snapping the floss to the gums can cut the soft tissue and cause damage. Eventually, you’ll notice your gums begin to pull away from the teeth with enough damage.

Mouth piercings: Mouth piercing can be a great form of self-expression, but they can also be the cause of gum recession. A study from Ohio State University found that 41% of their subjects with pierced lips had receding gums. This is because the piercing can rub against the gums, cause irritation, and then eventually cause gums to recede.

Tobacco products: We’re sure that most of you know the sort of damage tobacco products can cause on your overall health. However, it can be equally dangerous for you smile and more specifically, your periodontal health. Studies show that tobacco can be one of the biggest risk factors to developing gum disease. This is because tobacco use can restrict the blood flow to the gums. This will slow down any healing and will also mask the negative effects of gum disease, including bleeding or swollen gums. Individuals that smoke cigarettes are less likely to notice the signs of gum disease because tobacco use will hide the early symptoms.

Forgetting to floss: Never underestimate the power of habit. Whether it’s daily exercise or daily flossing, small actions can end up making a big difference in your health and overall quality of life. We’ve heard many patients say that they always remember to brush but sometimes forget about flossing. This is a reminder that both are essential to keeping your oral health in tip-top shape. Flossing each day will remove the plaque that is between teeth and below the gumline. Not removing this plaque will allow for it to cause gum inflammation and eventual gum disease.

Contact PerioNYC Today!

Are you guilty of a few habits on our list? If you are and notice that your smile has been affected, contact our office! We offer a variety of services that can help treat your specific case. Whether you’re interested in periodontal plastic surgery or orthodontic assistance, our ultimate goal is to give our patients a smile they can feel confident with. For more information on any of the services we offer, feel free to browse this site. If you’re ready to pursue treatment today, contact our office to schedule an appointment. We look forward to giving you a beautiful, healthy smile!

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