Healthy Gums

This dental hygiene month we turn our attention to one of the most neglected part in oral hygiene – gum care. How many of us are really aware of the importance of gum care and take active efforts to ensure healthy gums? If one is to believe statistics not many. According to ADA 47.2% adults over 30 years of age suffer from some form of gum disease. This is a huge number of people and one of the reasons people suffer from such severe gum disease is that there is hardly any awareness about how to keep gums healthy. With proper care it is possible to keep our gums healthy throughout our lives. If gums stay healthy there is a lesser risk of developing tooth decay and of course gum disease.  

Importance of healthy gums 

Research suggests that gum diseases are often precursors to more severe diseases and therefore having and maintaining good gum health is very important. Over many years of research it has now been revealed that having periodontal disease can up the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, respiratory disorders and even complications in pregnancies. And studies show severity of diabetes is interlinked with health of gums. If periodontal disease in a diabetic is treated it reduces the severity of his/ her diabetes. Gum disease is a major cause behind tooth loss.  Due to these reasons gum health becomes extremely important. 

What is gum disease and how does it happen? 

Gum disease is generally not detected by most people in the initial stages as it is mostly painless. One good news is that it is completely reversible when it is detected in its early stages. Gum disease starts with buildup of plaque. If you are a regular reader of our blogs you probably already know what plaque is. Plaque is the sticky film that develops over the teeth which is filled with bacteria. The bacteria consume the food stuck in our teeth and produce acid which can cause tooth decay. Plaque if not removed regularly hardens into what is known as tartar. Tartar build-up can spread to the gums, which makes it difficult to clean the teeth. The plaque can cause infections of the gum and the jaw bone. The earliest stage of gum disease mentioned above which is reversible is called gingivitis. If it remains untreated it can lead to a severe form of gum disease known as periodontal disease and as mentioned earlier it is periodontal disease which can be responsible for not only tooth decay but also tooth loss. Common symptoms of gum disease include – 

  1. Swollen gums 
  1. Red gums 
  1. Bleeding gums 
  1. Sensitive gums 
  1. Loose teeth 
  1. Consistent bad breath 
  1. Sensitive teeth 
  1. Receded gums 
  1. Pain while chewing 

How to take care of gums and keep them healthy? 

It is not a difficult thing to keep your gums healthy. All you need to do is – 

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day. While you do it make sure you remove any food particles stuck on or in between your teeth. Also it is important to use a fluoride toothpaste. The brush should be held at 45 degree angle to the teeth surface and teeth must cleaned with short gentle strokes. Do not be harsh on your teeth and do not brush hard. 
  1. Floss at least once a day. Flossing correctly will ensure that any plaque buildup in between your teeth as well as any food particles stuck there is removed.  
  1. Use a tongue cleaner to scrape and clean the tongue and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash that prevents plaque formation. 
  1. Limit starchy, sugary and acidic food substances and drinks as well tobacco and cigarettes. Smoking weakens our immunity which ups the risk of gum infections and also reduces our ability to fight it. Smokers are four times more likely to develop periodontal diseases as compared to non smokers. 
  1. Eating a well balanced diet also plays an important role in good gum health. A diet which is fiber rich can reduce the pace of periodontal diseases. 
  1. Massage your gums with your fingers or a gum stimulator. Massaging the gums helps avoid gum disease and slows down its progression if already present. Massaging gums also increases the blood flow to the tissue thereby speeding up treatment of gum disease. Supplement your daily oral routine with a gum massage.  
  1. Last but not the least visit your dentist regularly. You must visit your dentist every 6 months. As mentioned earlier gum diseases are not easily detected because they are mostly painless in the initial stages hence only a dentist who is trained for this job will be able to detect it at the right time. Gum disease is reversible if detected at an early stage. Hence don’t avoid visiting your dentist. If however your gums are swollen or bleeding do not wait for your regular visit. Take an appointment now. And those who are already dealing with immune compromised diseases like AIDS etc must visit their dentist even more often. Periodontal disease increases with as one grows older. As per CDC 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease. Hence if you are in this age group or are pregnant or prone to gum diseases due to heredity you also must make more than the recommended once a year visit to the dentist. 

Hope this blog is an eye opener when it comes to gum health. If you would like to know more call Ensure Dental Care (the family dentist near you) on 940-274-3229 to schedule an appointment. Healthy gums mean healthy you. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you the best of our abilities.  

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