In today’s blog we’re focusing on something people often forget about – maintaining healthy gums. When we think of dental health and hygiene, we often only consider the teeth – but actually our gums are just as important and need to be taken care of equally as well.
Periodontal or gum disease affects many people worldwide, which often puts them at higher risk of tooth loss and other serious complications.
Here we share the main reasons for a focus on gum health and what you can do to maintain healthier gums at home.
Healthy gums = healthy teeth
Gum health is an often-overlooked aspect of dental health – but actually our gums are incredibly important, just as important as the teeth themselves. Without strong, healthy gums our teeth can lose vital protection and become exposed to harmful bacteria.
Gums are like skin, taking on various sophisticated roles within our mouths which protect and support teeth. They act as a protective seal over the teeth – without gums, bacteria and food would find their way into the deeper parts of your teeth, where they’d inevitably cause decay and tooth loss over time. Gums are also the support structure that holds teeth in place.
Gum disease is damaging because it weakens and undermines the integrity of your entire mouth. Over time this can lead to tooth loss – even in young, otherwise healthy patients. There is also a link found between unhealthy gums and hypertension – and causes the immune system to become oversensitive, triggering reactions more frequently than normal.
What are the signs of poor gum health and gum disease?
One of the first signs of poor gum health is bleeding gums. You might notice a little blood when you spit out after brushing your teeth, or fresh blood on your toothbrush. If this is happening over the course of a few weeks, speak to your dentist. Prevention is better than cure and there are a variety of minimally invasive treatments that can improve the health of your gums.
Sores, gum pain and sensitivity can all also be signs of gums in aa less than healthy state. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to check with your dentist to confirm that your gums aren’t showing early signs of disease of future issues.
How is gum health maintained and treated?
Treat your gums just like you treat your teeth – gently, with regular care. Brush the gums when you brush your teeth, using light circular motions. Mouthwash can also help to keep gums healthy and free from disease – especially if you’re noticing blood when you brush.
Another important way to maintain gum health is flossing regularly. When particles of food and bacteria deposits get lodged between the teeth onto the gums, they can over time cause gum disease and infection. Plaque which hardens into tartar can irritate the gums, which in turn leads to bleeding. Flossing on a regular basis keeps teeth free from plaque, but also helps to strengthen the gums.
Gums bleeding? Concerned about gum health? Speak to our team today.