How to Treat Gum Disease – What To Do About an Infectious Smile

When it comes to knowing how to treat gum disease, men usually can’t follow the advice in the mainstream health magazines. No guy, for instance, gets gum sores around the time of his period. Men don’t have to worry about high blood pressure caused by untreated gingivitis in pregnancy, unless it’s their partners who are pregnant.

But men do need to keep gum disease in control. It can cause loose teeth, pneumonia, heart attacks, and stroke, any one of which can do more than ruin your day. Here are 10 things every man needs to know about how to treat and beat gingivitis.

  1. You don’t need a dentist to tell you whether you have plaque.

    You can feel it yourself. Run your tongue over the back of your teeth. Feel something slimy or mossy? That’s plaque. You can’t remove it. Your dentist has to when you get your cleaning. The sooner you have the plaque cleaned off your teeth, the less likely you are to get gum disease.

  2. You can have a big-time gum infection and not even know it.
    Men can get a gum infection the size of their palms with no pain at all. That’s what dental exams and x-rays are for.
  3. Tea time, anyone?
    ice-teaDrinking tea, hot or iced, without sugar, coats your teeth and lips with tannins. Bacteria can’t sink their tentacles through the tannins to form plaques on your teeth or into your gums. If you are concerned about keeping your teeth bright and white, drink green tea. Black tea contains the compounds that can stain your teeth, especially if you drink it after you use a prescription chlorhexidine mouthwash.
  4. Flossing is no time to show yourself what a he-man you are.
    Waxed floss keeps from pulling fillings out of your teeth. Don’t jam floss into your gums to get stuck food from between your teeth. A toothpick or a finger is what you use for that. Wrap the floss in a U around a tooth and pull back and forth to get food unstuck from the sides of your teeth, where you can’t reach with a toothbrush.
  5. When it comes to choosing a toothbrush, be a softie.
    Some men brush so hard they actually wear grooves into their teeth. You need a soft-bristle toothbrush to preserve tooth enamel and to keep gums from bleeding-which lets germs inside.
  6. Restore enamel to your teeth by chewing gum.
    Specifically, by chewing sugar-free gum that contains the additive casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (or CPP-ACP), also known as Recaldent. One brand that contains this additive is Trident White.
  7. Say cheese.
    When asked what you want for dessert, go European. Say cheese. Eating cheese raises the pH of your mouth and fights acid-loving bacteria. It’s especially helpful after you eat dessert.
  8. Eat for two.
    Don’t dive into dessert immediately after you finish the rest of your meal. The plaque on your teeth absorbs some of the fat and carbohydrate from your meal. If you eat dessert right way, the sugar stays on the plaque, feeding new bacteria, instead of going into your plaque, where it does not do as much damage.
  9. Size matters.
    When it comes to choosing a toothbrush, size matters, but this is the time to go for small. A small toothbrush lets you reach your salivary glands, at the sides of your mouth at the back of your teeth, where you have the greatest tartar buildup.
  10. When it comes to mouthwash, go herbal.
    Essential oils do a lot more to remove the bacteria that cause gum disease than chemical additives. The brand with the best combination of essential oils? Listerine. Use the mouthwash, preferably the alcohol-free version (alcohol dries out your gums, getting your drinking alcohol some other way), and not the breath strips.