Most people don’t pay attention to their gum health as much as they would with their teeth. They often prioritize the color and cleanliness of their teeth and tend to overlook their gum health.
But did you know that your gum health can affect your overall health once it’s neglected? So to maintain a beautiful smile, don’t just focus on your teeth and take your gum health seriously.
To learn more about the importance of gum health and the different ways to keep it healthy, read this blog. You can also click this link if you’re looking for service providers similar to a dental health center.
An Overview Of Gums
Also referred to as the gingival, the gums are the soft tissue that encases your teeth roots, jaw bones, and teeth. It serves as a protective layer and seals against disease-causing bacteria. Aside from that, it acts as the teeth’s supportive structure that keeps them in place.
Without your gums, food debris and bacteria can quickly find their way to your teeth’s deeper parts. Remember that the oral cavity is home to hundreds of bacterial species, most of which are bad.
When more bad bacteria exist in your mouth, your teeth’s entire structure may break down easily. As a result, your teeth can become loose and unstable until they detach from your jawbone.
Bacteria in the mouth can also infect the tissues surrounding the tooth, causing inflammation around your tooth and may lead to gum disease. Poor oral hygiene is to blame as it increases dental plaque formation.
While some bacteria in plaque are harmless, others can harm your gum health. Therefore, when taking care of your teeth, don’t forget about your gums as well.
Signs And Symptoms Of Unhealthy Gums
People must know the signs and symptoms of unhealthy gums or gum disease. Typically, gum disease starts with mild symptoms, but it may progress in the long run.
There are various forms of gum disease, and the mildest type is gingivitis. People with gingivitis have chronic bad breath and may experience swollen, red gums that bleed quickly.
Fortunately, gingivitis doesn’t cause tooth loosening or pain; people can prevent it with proper dental care and oral hygiene.
When left untreated, gingivitis may result in periodontitis, which happens when tartar and plaque spread below the gumline. Plaque buildup may irritate your gums and trigger an inflammatory response, which can ruin the bone and tissue that supports your teeth.
As periodontitis progresses, the damage may worsen. While it doesn’t always cause symptoms, people may notice bleeding gums, chronic bad breath, loose teeth, and more.
Top Reasons Gum Health Matters
Maintaining healthy gums is as essential as keeping your teeth healthy. If you’re one of those who take gum health for granted, there are various reasons it matters, and these include the following:
- Good Gum Health Helps Keep Your Teeth In Place
Regardless of your teeth’s condition, they need healthy gums to support them. Keep in mind that gums act as a seal around your teeth, protecting sensitive tissues underneath.
When bacteria sit on your teeth and gums, small pockets start to form in the long run, giving plaque more places to hide. Once it continues, it may increase the likelihood of loose teeth and cavities.
- Good Gum Health Prevents Tooth Sensitivity
If you have gum disease, it can cause an inflammatory response that may lead to gum recession. It exposes the tooth roots that don’t have much protective layer. Then, it enables stimuli to enter your tooth, leading to tooth sensitivity or pain while chewing anything cold, hot, or with sugar.
- Good Gum Health Keeps Your Body Healthy
The bacteria in your mouth may quickly find their way into your bloodstream once your gums are inflamed. It means your body will be more susceptible to infections. To lessen the number of bacteria in your mouth, consider using mouthwash to keep you healthier overall and minimize the chance of gingivitis.
- Good Gum Health Supports Dental Restorations
To have a dental restoration place and for it to function and look properly, it’s essential to keep your gums healthy. Particular restorations, such as bridges and crowns, rely on gum tissues to cover the junction between natural teeth and restoration.
On the other hand, some restorations, including dental implants, may fail if you have gum disease.
- Good Gum Health Reduces Bad Breath
Bad breath or halitosis is generally caused by excess fungi or bacteria in your mouth. Excess bacteria may collect along your gum line on the tongue and between teeth. Once the bacteria are trapped in your mouth, they can lead to a foul odor.
- Good Gum Health Preserves Bone Mass
Other than causing gum recession, periodontitis, an advanced gum disease, may cause a loss of bone mass around and in the jawbone and tooth socket. It may result in teeth falling out or becoming loose.
As you can see, gum health is vital for many reasons. That is why you should never take your gum health lightly and practice proper oral hygiene regularly.
7 Steps To Improve Gum Care
When it comes to dental health, it doesn’t only revolve around how beautiful your smile is or how straight your teeth are. You should also prioritize your gums.
While you have pearly, white teeth and are cavity-free, gum disease may still occur. Since it’s typically painless, many people think there’s nothing wrong with their gums.
If you don’t want to deal with any form of gum disease in the future, here are the steps you should follow to improve gum care:
- Schedule Regular Dental Cleaning
Dentists can detect early gum disease symptoms if you regularly schedule a regular dental cleaning. With this, a dental health professional can treat your gum concern before they become serious.
The only way to get rid of tartar is professional cleaning. It may also remove any plaque you missed when flossing or brushing. If you have gingivitis, regular dental cleaning, brushing, and flossing can reverse it.
- Watch Your Diet
Several types of food may help and hurt your gums. Starchy, sugary, and sticky foods are the worst types you can consume. The sugar from such food may combine with plaque, creating acid that can cause tooth decay.
Instead of focusing on what to remove from your diet, start adding healthy food to your diet, such as fruits and vegetables. The best thing about such food is that they’re high in fiber, which helps stimulate saliva production that can clean your mouth naturally.
Dairy products may also keep your gums healthy. Some dairy products are an excellent source of calcium, which helps strengthen your gums and teeth. Dairy products can also encourage the production of good bacteria.
In terms of beverages, water is the best option to keep your gums and teeth healthy. It’s sugar-free and can help wash away the food particles that may result in cavities when not cleared away.
Below are the other foods to strengthen and keep your gums healthy in a natural way:
- Ginger Root – It isn’t considered a mouth-friendly food, yet it has anti-inflammatory properties that promote healthy gums and teeth. You can try some in a stir fry for your next family meal. But rather than jarred ginger, opt for freshly grated ginger root.
- Apples – An apple has natural acids that help clean your gums and teeth. Its skin also serves as a natural flossing mechanism to ensure healthy gums. So, never forget to include apples in your daily meal plan.
Other than the above, you should also know what food to avoid when taking care of your gums. For example, avoid chewing sugar-sweetened bubblegum as it may cause cavities.
However, if you love chewing gum, you can choose a sugar-free type. Chewing a piece of sugar-free gum helps boost saliva production that prevents plaque buildup, keeping your gums healthy.
- Brush Your Teeth Properly
One of the easiest ways to improve gum care is to learn how to brush your teeth properly and regularly. Effective brushing helps prevent plaque buildup, remove food particles, and stimulate gum recovery.
You must brush twice daily, once at night and once in the morning, for at least two minutes. Holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums and teeth is also crucial to clean your gum line properly.
While you can use any toothbrush, purchasing an electric toothbrush can be a good investment to ensure adequate brushing and improve your gum health.
Such toothbrushes are more effective in preventing gingivitis and reducing plaque, unlike manual brushing. In addition, an electric toothbrush may help lessen the number of dental clinic visits and treatments you might need without proper oral care.
- Floss Regularly
While brushing can remove plaque from your teeth’s surface, there are particular places your toothbrush will likely miss, such as the space between your teeth and the gum line. Due to this, it’s essential to floss regularly to remove bacteria and plaque from hard-to-reach areas.
A perfect time to floss your teeth is before bedtime or before brushing your teeth. It’s because removing debris between your teeth makes the fluoride from your toothpaste more effective. If you floss before brushing your teeth, the hard-to-reach areas of your teeth can easily absorb the fluoride.
- Use The Right Toothpaste
There are countless types of toothpaste available in the market, making it hard to choose the best one suitable for your dental care needs.
Although other toothpaste brands are formulated with natural ingredients, some contain extra ingredients, such as breath-freshening chemicals and baking soda. However, regardless of the toothpaste’s incredible ingredients, an essential factor to consider is its fluoride content.
While some ingredients can benefit your gum care, they aren’t necessarily required. So, check if the toothpaste contains fluoride and ensure dental experts approve it.
- Stop Smoking
Another step to improve gum care is to stop smoking. There are some ways smoking can affect your gum health. One of these is that smoking may weaken your immune system, making it difficult for gums to fight off infections.
It’s also challenging for damaged gums to heal if you’re a smoker. Remember that chewing tobacco is as dangerous as smoking, so try to avoid it.
- Use An Antibacterial Mouthwash
Your daily oral hygiene must include rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, which can help to eliminate plaque and leftover food particles. It can also help protect your teeth from bacteria, but it must never be used as a substitute for flossing and regular brushing.
There are particular mouthwashes available, such as over-the-counter and prescribed by dentists. Both are typically formulated to reduce early gum disease and improve gum health. They also contain fluoride, which can strengthen your teeth. So, if you want to keep your gums healthy, include an antibacterial mouthwash in your dental hygiene.
When To See A Dentist
If you experience pain or bleeding in your gums that lasts for more than a week, you visit your dentist immediately. Red and swollen gums that bleed easily can be a symptom of gum disease. Other signs and symptoms you should look for are:
- Pain while chewing
- Sensitive teeth
- Red, swollen gums
- Dentures no longer fit correctly
- Gums that bleed quickly
When you notice any of these signs, never delay your schedule for a dental clinic visit. Depending on your gum health concerns, dentists will perform a comprehensive dental exam to check the condition of your mouth, gums, and teeth. Once they get the results, they’ll recommend the right treatment suited for your needs.
However, to get the best dental care service, look for a highly skilled and experienced dentist with a good reputation in your area. This type of dentist offers quality dental services and will help you keep your gums healthy throughout your lifetime.
Good oral health starts with your gums. While many people focus on the teeth, your gums are also essential in many ways since they hold your teeth in place. Besides, the foundation of a healthy smile is rooted in healthy and clean gums.
So, now that you understand why gum health matters, make sure to keep the above gum care tips in mind. Once you implement them properly, it’s possible to maintain an excellent oral condition free of infections or gum diseases.