Tips For Healthy Gums

Excerpt: The health of your gums is imperative to your overall dental health, the gums can also have a big impact on your general health as well.

Table of Contents

Gum Disease Fast Facts

  • Gingivitis can be easily prevented at home with proper oral care.
  • Brushing your teeth and gums can help defeat bad breath (halitosis).
  • Lots of food particles and bacteria can live in your gums and tongue.

The health of your gums is imperative to your overall dental health, the gums can also have a big impact on your general health as well. If you’re only concerned about keeping your teeth cleaned then you are only fighting half the battle.

dentist showing how to brush model teeth

Why should I care about healthy gums?

Your gums are part of the first line of defense when dealing with bacteria and maintaining healthy, stable teeth. Since the gums are the foundation for your teeth, the healthier the gums are, the stronger the teeth will inevitably be. The gums can house lots of bacteria and food particles if they are not taken care of extensively. This excess waste will inevitably result in gingivitis, infection, and even bad breath.
person putting toothpaste on brush

Should I worry about gum disease?

There are a lot of dental health issues that you may only notice when it is too late to reverse them, gum disease, however, has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is incredibly common among patients who may not even realize they have it.

Signs & Symptoms of Gingivitis

The signs and symptoms can be very subtle, but if you know what to look for these early indications are worth keeping track of:

  • Inflamed
  • Tender
  • Red
  • Swollen
  • Prone to bleeding
  • Unexplained bad breath (or taste)
  • Teeth that feel loose
  • Receding gums

If you’re paying attention to your gums and spot any of these issues occurring, keep track of the frequency and intensity. If your gums are swollen and bleeding for a day and then it goes away, it was probably temporary, if they continue for more than a day, or it seems more intense than usual, you could be suffering from gingivitis.

person point at teeth

How to treat gingivitis

If you have minor symptoms, maybe you notice some blood or redness after your done brushing, generally this is a sign your oral care needs to be improved. If you increase the frequency, or overall care of your teeth and gums, the issues will likely go away after a week or two.

A good oral health care routine will consist of these steps.

  • Floss – Do this for every tooth (should generally take about 1-2 minutes).
  • Brush – Spend at least 30 sec on each quarter of your mouth, gums, and tongue.
  • Mouthwash – Use the recommended dosage, swish it vigorously around your mouth.
Ideally you would be using an electric toothbrush, but standard brushes are fine too. If you can repeat this process 2-3 times every day (morning, noon (optional), and right before bed), then you will have above average dental care.
If the problems still seem to persist after a week or two of sustained optimal care, then it is highly recommended to make an appointment with your dentist. If left untreated, gingivitis may turn into periodontitis.
Tools for tooth care

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis is an advanced form of gingivitis, it means your gum disease has gotten bad enough that the infection has reached the bone and other structures. This can be detrimental to dental health since you can loose teeth and you may not have suitable structures for dental implants. 

Is Periodontitis treatable?

It can be treatable by a dentist depending on how advanced the disease actually is. A patient cannot treat periodontitis by themselves at home so a general dentist or periodontist (specialist) will be required.
Person in dental chair with dentist

Looking for more ways to prevent gum disease?

Quit Smoking or chewing tobacco

Tobacco and marijuana smoke can have negative effects on your gums. There are chemicals in the product that are incredibly unhealthy for your mouth. Not only is smoking bad for your mouth, but it’s also expensive and devastating for your overall health. Chewing tobacco is equally as bad as smoking if not worse. Chewing and smoking tobacco can result in such serious ailments as cancer. If you happen to get oral cancer, which is likely since it passes through your mouth, a surgeon may need to remove it. This can result in the surgeon taking away facial tissue which is the worst-case scenario. Since smoking gives you virtually no benefit, it’s best that you quit immediately.

Regular dental checkups

Even though gingivitis has some of the most visually obvious signs and symptoms, the patient may not recognize it as an issue or be familiar with how serious it can be. If you’re visiting your dentist every 6 months consistently, they should be able to give you an early alert if you’re experiencing gingivitis, or your dental care could be improved.

Brush your gums and tongue

Your teeth aren’t the only place where bacteria and food particles can hide. Your gums and tongue have lots of surface area compared to your teeth, especially on a microscopic level. All this extra real estate can house lots of harmful enemies for your teeth. When you brush your teeth, it’s best to spend the same amount of time on your teeth, as on your gums and tongue.

Use oral care products containing fluoride

Fluoride is incredibly important in strengthening the teeth and gums. It’s so important than many major cities have added minute amounts to the drinking water to help their residents. However, if you are suffering from gingivitis, you may have a lack of fluoride. 
Check with your dentist to see what they would recommend.

Frequently Asked Questions

Generally, it is not. Unless it’s advanced, or turns into periodontitis. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above on a regular basis, you should make an appointment.

We recommend 2 times a year, if needed, this can be increased.

There are options such as deep cleaning, and even surgery. If the disease is severely advanced, it will depend on how severe it is.

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