You often hear about the importance of keeping your teeth healthy but did you know that maintaining healthy gums is equally as important? Practicing good oral hygiene includes showing your gums love too! For example, taking care of your entire mouth will ensure that you’re protecting all elements that make up a great smile.
Read on to discover the difference between healthy and unhealthy gums, gum disease and how to keep your gums healthy!
Identifying Healthy Gums vs. Unhealthy Gums
Take a look in the mirror. What colour are your gums? Are they pink or red and swollen? If they’re the latter, you might also be experiencing bleeding gums when you brush or floss your teeth. Red and inflamed gums can also be an early sign of gum disease. In addition, having a receding gum line can also be an extreme symptom of gum disease. If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, consult with your dentist.
If you’re curious about the health of your gums, here are a few factors to consider.
- Bleeding gums. While some people experience a bit of bleeding while flossing (especially if you don’t floss often), an excessive amount of blood is often indicative of unhealthy gums. As a result of poor cleaning habits, plaque formation can occur on the gum line, which can cause your gums to bleed. If the plaque doesn’t get removed and builds up, a hard layer called calculus can develop. Calculus is difficult to remove without your dentist’s assistance.
- Bad breath. Are you self-conscious about your breath? Having bad breath can often be a symptom of gum disease. If you neglect to remove food from between your teeth, bacteria can grow and cause bad breath.
- Loose teeth. An extreme sign of unhealthy gums is loose teeth. For example, untreated advanced gum disease can cause your teeth to loosen. Having extremely inflamed gums (a symptom of gum disease) can impact the strength of your gums.
Pay attention to the state of your gums. If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, consult with your dentist.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection targetting the gums. There are a few forms of gum disease, some more extreme than others. For example, the earliest form is known as gingivitis. Redness and inflammation are two common symptoms reflecting this stage of gum disease. A more advanced stage is called chronic periodontitis. If you’re experiencing early signs of gum disease, consult with your dentist.
How to Maintain Healthy Gums
While gum disease is common, there are a few ways to maintain healthy gums and prevent gum disease.
- Brushing technique. Pay attention to how you’re brushing your teeth, gums and tongue! You’ll want to ensure that you’re treating every area, even those hard-to-get spots. Talk to your dentist about your brushing technique and best practices.
- Flossing. In addition, to brush your teeth, you should also be flossing your teeth. Flossing helps to remove plaque and food from in between your teeth and around your gum line. Since flossing helps remove plaque, this is another way to prevent gingivitis.
- Visit your dentist for cleaning appointments. If you allow plaque to build up, it can be difficult to remove without help from the dentist. Attending regularly scheduled cleaning appointments can help remove additional plaque and maintain the health of your teeth and gums! Similarly, your dentist can address any concerns and provide professional advice!
In addition, other factors can contribute to the health of your gums. For example, tobacco/smoking and your diet can also directly impact your oral health. If you have questions about maintaining healthy gums, contact Cranberry Hill Dentistry.