Why is addressing gum disease important?
The grim facts speak for themselves:
- Over 90% of adults have some form of active gum disease by the age of 30.
- A whopping 65% of children already show signs of active gum disease by the time they are 15 years old!
Given these sad statistics, we consider gum disease to be the elephant in the living room when it comes to oral health.
After all, if our culture’s current oral health protocols were working, wouldn’t the above percentages be much lower?
But you’re here looking for solutions.
That tells us a lot about you. You’re not satisfied with being a sad statistic.
Unlike so many, you’re taking time to research other options for you and your family.
We are with you every step of this journey. We’ve been researching how to navigate the path to optimal oral health for over 20 years now.
We’ve learned several strategies and best practices that we’ve shared with the world. Today let’s explore one of these powerful strategies…
Why oral health?
Our dream and mission is to help create more healthy smiles throughout the world.
Call us romantic if you must, but we believe that as more and more of us have confidence that our mouths are healthy, our breath is fresh, and we aren’t losing the battle against tooth decay and gum disease, more of us will choose to smile and make the world a happier and healthier place.
(After all, the research clearly shows that smiling is good for your health and happiness!)
How gum disease gets started…
It starts as a little tenderness and swelling between molars. Then it turns into gums that bleed when flossing and chronic bad breath. This leads to receding gums and loose teeth, and eventually, even adult tooth loss.
Unfortunately, gum disease isn’t just about chronic bad breath and bleeding gums. Besides being the #1 cause of adult tooth loss, there is also a clear link between active gum disease and chronic health issues.
Whether we are talking about arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, or even cancer, research has found that an imbalanced oral flora and increased populations of ‘thug bugs’ in our mouths contribute to suppressing immunity, the breakdown of our systems, and ultimately, disease.
This makes sense since gum disease is a rampant bacterial infection with direct access to the whole body via the bloodstream.
To create optimal health, we must do more than just brush our teeth.
Through specific, daily oral hygiene habits, we can lower the incidence of thug bugs in our mouths and reduce the risk of developing a chronic inflammatory cascade that can undermine our whole-body health.
Historical clues for how to stop gum disease
Thankfully, we can look back in history to find information on addressing gum disease that hasn’t been skewed by greed or political agendas.
We are proud to stand on the shoulders of giants like Weston A Price, Ralph Steinman, and Edward and May Mellanby. But today, we’d like to highlight Dr. Charles C. Bass, one of the first scientists to shed light on the subject of gum disease.
Dr. Bass was a remarkable man. He was the youngest person to become dean of a medical school, and he was also the first person to carry a microscope west of the Mississippi River.
When Dr. Bass was diagnosed with advanced gum disease and instructed by his dentist to have all of his teeth extracted, he decided to take matters into his own hands and do some research (just like you, you hero!).
Dr. Bass was a parasitologist and had already discovered parasites through the use of his microscope. So, he decided to leverage his existing knowledge, skills, and tools to investigate what was causing the destruction in his mouth.
Using his microscope, he easily identified some “thug bugs” (the same ones that still plague most mouths today).
He started testing various tools and techniques to help disrupt the thug bugs and remove them from his mouth.
Through extensive trial and error, Dr. Bass created a toothbrush and method that effectively disrupts these bacteria and removes them from the teeth and gums.
His efforts worked: in the end, Dr. Bass died an old man with all of his natural teeth intact.
Why the Bass Brushing Technique works
The Bass Brushing Technique focuses on disrupting and removing the bacteria that accumulate between the teeth as well as along and under the gum line. When used correctly, this technique is very effective at reducing gum disease.
To effectively use the technique, we must understand that the “thug bugs” related to gum disease colonize along and under the gum line, especially between the molars.
Therefore, our focus must be to gently wiggle the bristles down into these areas to break up the bacteria groups that are hiding there.
Signs of early gum disease include swollen, red, bleeding, and/or tender gums.
Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of this connection. So, when these signs crop up, most people avoid brushing the infected area due to discomfort around the swollen gums. This allows the infection to continue to progress unhindered.
The right tool for the job
Dr. Bass left us some important legacies, including the Bass toothbrush and the Bass Brushing Technique.
The Bass toothbrush differs from most toothbrushes in two ways:
1. The bristles of a Bass toothbrush are more spaced out, and there are fewer bristles on the brush head. Dr. Bass found that most toothbrushes had far too many bristles to effectively wiggle between the teeth and down into the gum line (the same is true today–most conventional toothbrushes still have too many bristles to really brush effectively).
So, he created a brush with fewer bristles. This allows the brush to get down into the areas where thug bugs thrive so we can disrupt their colonizing efforts.
2. The second way the Bass toothbrush differs from other toothbrushes is that the bristle tips of the Bass brush are rounded, polished, and very smooth. See the photos below to compare the rounded bristle tips of the Bass toothbrush to the jagged, rough-cut tips of many other toothbrushes.
Polished bristle tips are much more gentle on the delicate oral tissue over time.
How to do the Bass Brushing Technique
If you’re a visual learner, feel free to scroll down to watch the Bass Brushing Technique videos below. Here are some written notes on how to do this technique:
1. Hold the toothbrush gently! We like to joke that we’re not cleaning a grout line here! Rather than holding the toothbrush in your fist like you’d do with a scrub brush, gently hold it in your fingertips (the same way that you’d hold a violin bow). This way, your arm can relax and use the small movements that are required for the Bass Brushing Technique.
2. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth and gum line.
3. Think small. The main difference in the Bass technique is how small the movements are. The Bass Brushing Technique uses subtle, lateral strokes along the gum line.
It’s almost like you aren’t “brushing” your teeth at all!
Rather, place the toothbrush at a spot along the gum line and gently wiggle it with slight, subtle back-and-forth motions that get the bristles down between the teeth and under the gum line.
4. Count to five, then move to the next place with your brush and repeat.
The small motion takes practice, but in time, you will be amazed at how much healthier your gums feel!
Your teeth will thank you, too!
Another significant problem with conventional brushing methods is that they damage the protective outer layer (enamel) of your teeth. Take a look at the following facts:
- Research has shown that many folks brush their teeth too hard and damage their enamel over time.
- Many toothbrushes have rough-cut bristles (rather than the rounded-tip bristles on the Bass brushes) that can scratch enamel and irritate gum tissue.
- A contributing cause of receding gums is brushing the sensitive gum tissue too hard, especially with a toothbrush that has rough-cut bristles!
Putting these factors together creates a situation where many people may be doing more harm than good when brushing.
So, rather than continuing to brush like we’re scrubbing the grout line (as we learned when we were toddlers), try out the Bass Brushing Technique and see how it feels! Then feel free to circle back and also brush the surfaces of your teeth.
To get a clearer picture of how to brush your teeth to reduce the risk of gum disease, watch the Bass Brushing Technique instructional videos below.
Here’s our original Bass Brushing 1.0 video:
Feel free to also check out our newest video on Bass Brushing 2.0 here:
Now you know how to brush your teeth to reduce gum disease!
If you’d like to also learn how to support your teeth, stop tooth decay, and reverse cavities, feel free to download our FREE eBook, “How to Remineralize Your Teeth”.
And, if you have active periodontal disease and you’d like to learn about a kit that can help you address periodontal-disease-causing microbes from the comfort of your own home, you can read about our HealThy Mouth System here.
What about you? Have you tried the Bass Brushing Technique? If so, have you noticed a difference in your oral health over time?
Do you have questions or feedback about the method? As always, we love to keep the discussion going in the comments below!
Helpful, related resources:
Smile your way to greater health and happiness [article]
Options If You Have Missing Teeth [article]
How to Get Rid of Bad Breath (Halitosis) in 30 Seconds [article]
How To Stop Bleeding Gums [article]
4 steps to stop gum disease from causing an autoimmune disease in your life [article]
How to Balance Your Oral Flora and Be a Good Conductor of the Symphony in Your Mouth [article]
OraWellness Bass Toothbrush [product solution]
What Causes Receding Gums and How to Stop it [article]
How to Brush Your Teeth to Stop Tooth Decay
How to Stop Tooth Decay and Remineralize Your Teeth [free eBook]
4 Reasons Why Brushing Is So Important [article]
Why Do Teeth Decay? [article]
The First Step Of Dental Self-Empowerment [article]
Our Video Tutorials About Oral and Holistic Health
HealThy Mouth System [product solution]
Charles C. Bass [Wikipedia page]