When people think about their oral health and visiting the dentist, they think about tooth care. They think about cleanings, fillings, whitening, braces and so on. But, there is more to your mouth than teeth – good oral health includes taking care of your gums and your tongue as well!
Proper Gum Care
Brushing is the first step for healthy gums, as it can help remove food and bacteria on your teeth where they meet the gums. Brushing also stimulates health circulation in the gum tissue. Besides brushing, you should always floss. It’s not just to prevent tooth decay from debris caught under the gum line, but to prevent more serious issues with the gums themselves.
There are several conditions that can occur if you don’t take care of your gums.
his condition comes from the bacteria found in plaque that attack the gums. If your gums a red and swollen and you often see blood when you spit after brushing, it is likely that you have gingivitis. The first step to fixing the problem is seeing one of the best dentists in Naperville as soon as possible.
If problems from gingivitis persist, you may have more advanced gum disease. This is far from rare; in fact, most adults show signs of gum disease, and about 25 percent of 65- to 74-year-olds have severe cases. When you have periodontal disease, your gums begin to recede, pulling back from the teeth. If left untreated, this can lead to bacteria forming pockets between the teeth and gums. It weakens the bone and ultimately leading to tooth loss. The American Academy of Periodontology provides a wealth of information about periodontal disease.
The danger of tooth loss for elderly patients is very real, especially if they have oseoporosis. Dr. Weyneth and Dr. Sosenko can help you figure out an adequate tooth and gum care regimen and help you keep your gums as healthy as possible.
Proper Tongue Care
Your tongue can be a haven for all kinds of bacteria, and you should give the same kind of care and attention as your teeth and gums.
Your tongue should look pink and healthy, with no red painful bumps or irritation. If your tongue has a white film that you can’t remove, it could be a fungal infection. You can ask your doctor or dentist about an anti-fungal to help clear it up. (This condition is often known as thrush.)
Use this regimen to ensure your tongue is as clean as possible:
- Brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth. You don’t have to brush hard. You can use your regular brush for your tongue, or you can buy a toothbrush that has a tongue brushing surface on the reverse side.
- You can also invest in a tongue cleaner. Use the tongue cleaner gently, and in a downward motion with your tongue stuck out. Draw the scraper down the center to the tip, then do the side of your tongue.
- You can use toothpaste on your tongue, to kill bacteria and to make brushing or scraping easier. Try not to swallow excess toothpaste!
- Always rinse your mouth completely after brushing and/or scraping your tongue. If there is any residual soreness, for example if you have bitten your tongue, use a mild salt water mixture to swish and spit.
- You can use mouthwash for bad breath, but if you have chronic halitosis you should have it checked out, Constant use of mouthwash can dry your tongue out.
Talk With Your Dentist Today
By caring properly for your tongue and gums, you can lengthen the lifespan of your teeth! A healthy mouth leads to healthier teeth and bones. Dr. Bryan Weyneth & Dr. Lydia Sosenko, can give you more information on oral health care. Be sure to schedule an appointment with some of the best dentists in Naperville.