Your gums, also known as gingiva, are a very important part of oral health. They seamlessly connect your teeth to the rest of your body by providing a layer of soft tissue around your teeth and a strong barrier of protection against friction from food. The gums are a vital part of oral health, without the proper care gingivitis can set in which can lead to more serious conditions like periodontitis. Here are a number of things you can do to take care of your gums and avoid loose teeth or tooth loss.
Brush and Floss
Brushing and flossing is your first defense when it comes to taking care of your gums. In fact, flossing actually does 40% of the work in this dynamic power combo. Brushing daily washes away food particles, grime, and plaque. Flossing gets into those hard to reach areas and clears trapped food. The smooth glide of the floss between your teeth and gums might not seem like much, but overtime this daily action saves your gums from irritation, clears out sticky bacteria, and avoids plaque. It’s the best gift you can give yourself if you want to have strong and healthy teeth well into old age.
It doesn’t stop at the brushing and flossing, though. The foods you eat have a big role in oral health as well. Some foods can be detrimental to your gums if not eaten in moderation such as candy and foods high in sugar. According to a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating high amounts of sugar can contribute to gum disease.
The study goes on to say that “even after age, body weight, diabetes, income level, and other factors associated with dental problems were controlled for,” sugar was found to be a major contributing factor to periodontal disease. Consider adding more leafy vegetables such as spinach and red leaf lettuce to your diet. These foods have a healthy concentration of vitamin C and reduces inflammation which is great for gum health. Also, here’s a fun fact – onions are a fantastic food for gum health! The microbial properties in onions target and breaks down common types of bacteria in your mouth that cause gum disease and cavities.
Smoking is dangerous. Harvard Health reports that chain smokers are about three times as likely as nonsmokers to have periodontitis. That risk gets even higher when smokers smoke more than a pack and a half of cigarettes per day.
Frequent Dental Visits
Visiting your dentist regularly is another way to ensure healthy gums. Even with regular brushing and flossing, plaque buildup can find small crevices in which to hide while wreaking havoc on your oral health. If not addressed properly, plaque can lead to tartar – a hardened form of plaque that eats away at tooth enamel, causes tooth decay and eventually leads to gum disease. Your dentist can clear that right up! That’s one of the reasons it’s important to keep those twice yearly dental appointments.
Your gums are important. And it’s important to keep them strong and healthy. We love seeing you, but we don’t want to see you for gum disease when it can be avoided. You are your best health advocate and doing things to prevent unwanted illness should be your top priority. Therefore, follow these tips and you’ll have the best defense against gum disease.