5. You have poor oral hygiene habits
Brushing too hard, not brushing at all, forgetting to floss – if you’re not committed to a regular and careful oral hygiene routine, your gums will suffer the negative consequences. “The gums are a fairly soft tissue. If you traumatize them with a hard bristle toothbrush, you can make them swell and bleed,” says Dr. Doig. Soft bristle toothbrushes provide a gentler cleaning option for gums and teeth, but if you forget to brush, the type of toothbrush that you use won’t matter. “The number one cause of gingivitis is the accumulation of plaque. I recommend that people brush their teeth at least twice a day (morning and bedtime), and floss daily,” says Dr. Doig. This practice will remove both the plaque and any food debris left behind in your mouth after eating. “Bacteria in the plaque uses the food debris to produce acids that can affect both the gums and teeth,” explains Doig.
Carbohydrates from starchy and sugary foods such as potato chips and fruit roll-ups are the worst food debris offenders. They can stick to teeth and gums for a lengthy spell if they’re not removed promptly. If you enjoy these types of foods, Dr. Doig says it’s imperative that you brush your teeth immediately after eating to eliminate any harmful effects to your gums and teeth.