Our parents always told us to brush our teeth to avoid cavities, but a recent study suggests there could be greater health risks to neglecting our mouths. Conducted by a group of researchers at State University of New York, the findings of this new study suggests that gum disease can increase the risk of cancer in older women. Examining self-reported data between 1999 and 2003, researchers evaluated the cases of over 65,000 older women and found that a history of periodontal disease put patients at a greater risk for developing cancer.

Considering that advanced periodontal disease is also associated with an increased risk of stroke, diabetes, and heart disease, preventing it is critical to our overall health. Here are three practical steps you can take to fight gum disease today.

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Brush Your Teeth

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice daily, especially before you go to bed. That’s because plaque can harden into tartar within 48 hours making it difficult to eliminate without professional dental cleaning. Considering that most of us sleep for 8 hours, unless we’re having trouble with a snoring partner/’}}}}, the environment is ripe for bacteria to move in and damage teeth. To protect your teeth requires a practiced brushing technique. Make dentle circular motions at a forty-five degree angle perpendicular to your gum line. Just try not to brush too hard because you can damage your enamel. If you’re used to brushing with force, try purchasing soft-bristled tooth brushes.

Don’t Skip the Floss

The truth is that brushing can’t effectively reach the places where gum disease forms: between our teeth, and below the gum line. This is why flossing regularly is so important to preventing gum recession and gum disease.

Flossing with perfect technique can be tricky, but a general rule of thumb is to touch all surfaces surrounding a tooth. Start with about fifteen inches of floss, gently insert between your teeth, curve floss around the base of your first tooth, and maneuver floss in a waxing motion, dipping beneath the gumline periodically.

Avoid Foods High in Starch

Foods high in starch put your gums at significant risk. When you chew foods such as white bread, your saliva breaks down food particles into a gummy paste-like substance that gets stuck between teeth and in the gumline. This then feeds mouth bacteria which converts these sugars into acid.

If you’re concerned about gum disease, perhaps the best deterrent is regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist. By scheduling regular checkups, you and your dentist can spot issues before they become major complications. If early gum disease is detected, there are several treatment options available, whereas the more advanced the disease becomes, the more difficult it is to treat.

If you’re looking for a new general or cosmetic dentist in Wilmington, NC, we invite you to visit us and learn whether we’re the right dental practice for you. Please call (910) 392-6060 or email Kuzma Advanced Dentistry today for an appointment.