Gums are truly the foundation for your smile. Without a healthy set of gums, there’s no way that your white teeth can confidently stay in your mouth. If dental plaque attacks the gums and makes them inflamed, then you run the risk of dealing with the symptoms of gum disease. These can make even the most basic tasks, including chewing and speaking, far more difficult.
Thankfully, you can avoid the need for gum disease therapy if you have the right oral care routine.
How Healthy Gums Shape Your Oral Health
Many people don’t realize that gum disease is one of the most common conditions around the world. Up to 80 percent of the population unknowingly has gum disease. Reports from organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that approximately half of American adults (30 years of age and older) have some form of periodontitis. Periodontitis is the more advanced form of gum disease that requires professional intervention to treat.
When you have a healthy set of gums, you can eat your favorite foods with confidence. You can smile knowing that your teeth don’t appear too long or look malformed due to receding gums. You don’t have to deal with the teeth sensitivity, an issue that’s common with receding gums. They protect your tooth roots (along with your enamel) and reduce your risk of tooth infections.
How to Keep Healthy Gums Daily
The best way to keep your gums healthy is to maintain a strict oral care routine. Of course, your diet should also be balanced and contain a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and grains. Here’s what a typical routine should look like:
- Brushing twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste, making sure to reach all the surfaces of teeth and brush along the gum line.
- Flossing once a day, making sure not to snap the floss or floss too hard against your gums.
- Brushing for at least two minutes at a time.
While these steps involve the bare minimum, there are other ways you can reduce your risk. For example, following your flossing routine with an oral mouth rinse will make it easier for the mouth rinse’s active properties to reach the deep pockets of your gums. Using an electric toothbrush can make brushing the gum line much easier.
How to Know If Your Gums are Unhealthy
If you’re ever unsure if your gums are unhealthy, the best thing you can do is visit a dentist for a general exam. They can confirm certain aspects of your gums, such as their pocket depth, color and tenderness. While gum disease is difficult to diagnose without a trained eye, you should be on the lookout for:
- Red, tender or bleeding gums
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Receding gums
- Teeth that appear longer than usual
- A difference in the way your denture fits inside your mouth
Not sure if you need gum disease therapy? Schedule an appointment with a dentist and confirm that your gums are on a healthy path!
About the Author
Dr. Chris Thorburn earned his dental degree from the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston. During your visit, he’ll make sure that your gums are staying healthy for many years to come. If you’re concerned that you may have gum disease, you can contact him through his website to seek treatment.