We know that dental care goes beyond brushing our teeth. Proper gum care is just as important as regular brushing when it comes to our dental health and our well-being in general.
All gum care rules apply to everyone. However, a recent study of older postmenopausal women shows a link between gum disease and a higher risk of developing different types of cancer later in life. This study will connect all your thoughts on gum care to cancer risk management.
According to the Washington Post, the researchers looked at health data of over 65,000 women. They observed that of the women who had periodontal (or gum) disease, there was a 14 percent higher risk of developing cancer compared to those women who did not have gum disease. The types of cancer identified were esophageal cancer, breast, lung, gallbladder and skin.
The researchers noted that pathogens from the gum disease may find themselves traveling to other parts of the body such as the esophagus and the stomach through saliva, and even the lungs through breathing. These disease-causing agents may then spread and eventually develop into other diseases, including cancer.
Taking Care Of Our Gums
The key to healthy gums is proper dental and oral care, and the best possible way to get professional care is by visiting the nearest dentist. Nowadays, you will find a lot of information about dentists and the services they offer through their websites. Most dentists such as Mesa Dentist also offer online scheduling of appointments or consultations which saves you time and effort.
Aside from regular dental appointments, you also need to take care of your teeth and gums at home. Here are five tips on how to do this properly, to ensure that you will not develop periodontal disease.
1. Brush your teeth and brush it properly. This means using the right kind of toothbrush for your teeth, preferably one that is recommended by your dentist. Aside from the right equipment, you need to make sure that you reach the hard to reach places. Getting your teeth clean lessens the chance of bacteria to multiply and cause gum disease.
2. Because brushing may not get all the bacteria from your mouth and teeth, flossing is recommended as well. Proper flossing helps you remove plaque and food particles under the gumline and between your teeth. Again, use the right kind of floss for you, which ideally should be recommended by your dentist. Whatever type you use, make sure you floss gently, curving the floss around the base of the tooth and reaching under the gumline.
3. Watch your diet. Eating food that has too much sugar can bring on gum disease, especially when coupled with bad oral care habits. You also have to make sure you eat a healthy balanced diet with the right amount of vitamins and minerals in order to have healthy teeth and gums. Green leafy vegetables, milk and dairy products and apples are among the best foods for healthy teeth and gums.
4. Stop smoking. Smoking, according to studies, is a major culprit of gum disease. The effect of smoking is systemic, because it decreases circulation which is important in having healthy gums. Aside from the gums, it also affects the teeth directly as nicotine leaves an ugly yellowish stain on the teeth.
5. Prevention is always better. Regular visits to your dentist will help you pinpoint potential dental problems and diseases. Your dentist is the best person to tell you how to care for your teeth and gums properly.
If You See These Signs, You Need To Visit Your Dentist
If you observe certain symptoms that you usually do not see, you need to consult your dentist. Some of the signs of periodontal disease include red and swollen gums. Bleeding gums or gums that easily bleed is also a sure sign that something is wrong. If you also see pus or discharge and have persistent bad breath, this may indicate an infection. If you suddenly experience sensitivity to anything hot or cold, this warrants a trip to the dentist as well. All these are danger signs that you need to take heed of.
Women And Gum Disease
Women have a higher risk of developing gum disease compared to men. This is because of the various hormonal changes that women undergo throughout life, from menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. While these changes happen, women’s bodies become more prone to the growth of bacteria that can cause diseases. Hormonal changes can make women’s gums more sensitive and therefore prone to infection.
During these periods, it is crucial that women take care of themselves – eat healthy, exercise and maintain a health oral and dental care routine.
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