You are about to read two very dirty words…gum disease. Although most of us do not think about this oral health affliction often, it can easily be lurking just below the surface of our gums. This oral malady can be caused by gingivitis or periodontitis, which can both be easily prevented with proper oral hygiene practices.
But how serious are these two conditions and how badly can they impact your oral health?
Let’s start with gingivitis, a slight irritation of the gums, which may seem harmless but can lead to much more serious oral health issues.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease and if left untreated, it can lead to more serious periodontitis and tooth loss. Gingivitis is caused by a bacterial infection, which in turn can exacerbate inflammation of the gums and can also force them to begin to separate from teeth.
This is when the trouble begins as bacteria can creep in, but the good news is that the signs of gingivitis can be reversed.
But what exactly are the triggers for gingivitis?
Perhaps you don’t even know about or have never thought to watch for the signs and symptoms of gingivitis, which can go unnoticed fairly easily due to their mildness.
The classic signs of gingivitis are red, swollen and tender gums which tend to bleed when brushing. Because gum disease often causes pockets to form between teeth and gums where food particles can get trapped, a side effect of gingivitis is bad breath and/or a bad taste in the mouth, caused by a bacterial infection. If you notice any of these symptoms, you’ll want to take steps to curb any further damage or deterioration of the gum line. Nipping this less serious oral health nuisance in the bud will prevent the onset of more serious gum disease such as periodontitis.
It is best to be vigilant when dealing with gingivitis because if it is left untreated, it can lead to the more severe periodontitis.
Perionditis is caused by toxins from the bacteria in plaque that forms beneath the gum line.
These toxins cause a more severe separation of the gums from teeth, as this is an advanced form of gum disease, and you risk the chance of the gums becoming infected.
Why is this so concerning?
The answer is that a severe side-effect of periodontitis is tooth loss.
Preventing any form of gum diseases, especially if you or your dentist notices signs of periodontitis, is imperative to having a healthy mouth and attractive smile. So how do you even know if you have periodontitis? One of the most challenging factors is that even though this gum disease is serious, it often has only mild signs or symptoms. That’s why it’s best to get into the habit of practicing a good dental hygiene routine to prevent the onset of any form of gum disease, regardless of how mild, before it even begins to form.
How can you prevent the onset of gum disease?
We all know that we should be flossing daily but many of us find it hard to use traditional floss to get in between teeth and gums. An alternative to string floss, one that’s effective and simple, is water flossing.
This is a great addition to your daily brushing routine and it will quickly improve your oral hygiene. Water flossing can also actually reverse the signs of gum disease and improve gum health. Water flossing is also over 50% more effective than traditional flossing, plus it is much easier, especially for those with dexterity issues or with tightly spaced teeth. Additionally, water flossing is effective at reducing two components of gum disease: inflammation and plaque.
One sign and one culprit of gum disease
One of the first signs of gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. By water flossing on a daily basis, you will be able to reduce inflammation of the gums and prevent gingivitis. Inflammation of the gums also causes bleeding; so, if you find your gums bleeding during daily brushing or when visiting the dentist, begin water flossing right away. Studies show that water flossing reduced bleeding by 93% and was up to 52% more effective at reducing gingivitis than string floss. At the first sign of inflammation, incorporate water flossing into your dental routine to stop gingivitis in its tracks!
Plaque is a sticky substance that deposits on teeth and is a breeding ground for bacteria, which in turn causes gum disease. Plaque can build up when you eat sugar or carbohydrates, so it is important to remove as much of this sticky culprit as possible, each day, from your teeth and gum line. Water flossing is a great way to prevent or eliminate plaque and the Waterpik brand offers different flossing tips, including the Plaque Seeker® tip, which helps to wipe out the plaque in hard to reach places.
Two big advantages of incorporating water flossing into your daily dental routine are ease of use and saving time. You’ll be improving your oral hygiene routine exponentially with little additional time or effort. Water flossing can be easily integrated into your daily brushing routine and only takes 60-seconds per day. Waterpiks are simple to use and require very little set up to get started each day. Begin your daily routine with water flossing, then brush your teeth and rinse with mouthwash to finish. This will help knock out any plaque or bacteria and leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean. You will only be adding on an additional minute to your routine and you will be eliminating and/or preventing signs of plaque and inflammation from your teeth and gums!
Can water flossing with a Waterpik truly reverse gum disease?
The simple answer is “yes,” using a Waterpik and incorporating water flossing into your daily dental hygiene routine can certainly prevent and reverse gum disease. So how do you get started? There are various Waterpik models available and range in size from countertop versions to those designed for travel. Also, price points stretch from around $50 to upwards of $100. The bottom line is that you can find a Waterpik model that is right for you!
To quickly and effectively reduce inflammation and plaque, and thereby gingivitis and periodontitis, respectively, water flossing is proven more effective than traditional, string flossing. If you are not already considering incorporating water flossing into your dental hygiene routine, hopefully, the prevention of gum disease is a great reason to run out and purchase a water flosser or order one online. There is no simpler or more effective manner for preventing or reversing gum disease than by water flossing daily!