Healthy Gums Are So Important

Healthy gums are extremely important not only to your oral health, but also, as medical professionals are increasingly discovering, to your physical health overall. Maintaining your teeth and gums should be an essential aspect of your daily regimen.

From childhood, we’re reminded of the importance of brushing and flossing our teeth, but its not often explained that gums, which protect our teeth, are a big part of that. Poor gum health can lead to plaque formation that causes painful decay of both the teeth and gums, as well as gum diseases such as gingivitis or periodontitis. Beyond that, research has shown a strong connection between bad gums and diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

If not properly cared for, trapped food particles and other debris can cause bacteria to build up in the lining between the gums and teeth, leading to infection, as well as plaque buildup that causes painful decay, gum recession, and even tooth loss. The longer this goes on, it gets more painful, as well as more difficult – and expensive – to treat.

Gum disease doesn’t always begin painfully, so be on the lookout for other signs. These include inflammation and redness at the gum line, redness or tenderness in the gums, receding gums, continuous bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth, loose teeth, sensitivity when chewing, and the presence of pus.

There are five basic steps to gum and tooth care: brushing, flossing, rinsing, eating well, and regular visits to the dentist. Brushing doesn’t only benefit the teeth – it also removes plaque and bacteria from the gum lining and stimulates bloodflow. Flossing removes particles and bacteria from the tight spaces between the teeth that brushes can’t reach, and rinsing well after both of these activities further cleans the area. A good diet is important since sugar is problematic for teeth while heartier foods such as apples can help provide cleaning abrasiveness. None of this is a substitute for a professional cleaning and examination, however: dentists can clean more thoroughly than you can at home, as well as spot concerning symptoms that you may not be able to see.


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