6 Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy

Woman smiling at Orange Grove Family Dentistry

Radiant smiles day after day start with good oral hygiene for healthy gums! The gingiva (or gums) is the soft pink-colored tissue that surrounds and protects the teeth as well as the underlying bone. Failing to care for this very important part of the tooth structure often leads to bleeding gums (gingivitis) and eventually periodontal or gum disease.

Periodontal disease is a dental disease that develops from bacterial infection or inflammation of the gum. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of the disease. Luckily, you can prevent things from getting this far.

Read on to learn about 6 different ways you can promote healthy gums and maintain your brilliant smile…

#1. Brush twice a day

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you brush your teeth two times a day to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Use a soft-bristled brush and brush in a circular motion for two minutes. Dedicate 30 seconds of brushing time to each quadrant of your mouth. Brushing too long could irritate the gum or wear down the enamel that covers and protects your teeth. Brushing your teeth and tongue removes food and bacteria, reduces plaque and tartar buildup, and ultimately prevents gum disease.

#2. Floss and rinse every day

Flossing daily with string floss or another type of interdental floss adds an extra layer of protection for your gums. Floss in between the teeth and below the gum line to remove tiny food particles and bacteria-filled plaque. Consistently removing plaque prevents it from hardening into tartar (calculus) and causing tooth decay. Finish up by rinsing your mouth with an over-the-counter antiseptic mouthwash. Daily rinsing slows down plaque formation, according to the ADA.

#3. Use fluoride toothpaste

All toothpastes aren't created equal. The way to be sure you'll be enjoying healthy teeth and gums is by selecting fluoride toothpaste. The ADA recommends this type of toothpaste because it contains ingredients that fight bacteria and prevent inflamed gums. Fluoride toothpaste also whitens your teeth and freshens your breath. Look for fluoride toothpaste with the ADA seal on the box.

#4. Trade sodas for water

Sodas are packed with sugars that combine with bacteria in the mouth to produce an acid that destroys the enamel and causes cavities. Toss the soda and reach for water instead. Sipping water throughout the day and in between meals helps wash away food particles and sugars in your mouth. Not only that, hydrating with water increases saliva production. Saliva is a natural oral cleanser. It removes sugars, food particles, and cavity-causing acids from your teeth.

#5. Quit smoking

Smoking doesn't only lead to chronic tooth discoloration. There's also a strong link between smoking and unhealthy gums, gum disease, as well as tooth decay. These are all good reasons to quit. According to the CDC, smoking weakens your immune system, making it more difficult to fight off a gum infection. The gum also takes longer to heal.

#6. Go for regular dental checkups and cleanings

Regular dental checkups and professional cleanings are a vital part of proper oral hygiene. The ADA recommends going to your dentist at least every six months. Your dentist will check for signs of inflamed gums and tooth decay. Early detection and treatment helps prevent gingivitis from progressing to gum disease or advanced periodontal disease. Your dentist will also treat any tooth decay. It's standard for your checkups to also include screenings for oral cancer.

Signs of Unhealthy Gums

Healthy gums color is typically light pink. One of the early signs of unhealthy gums is deep red or swollen gums. Other signs include:

  • Tender or sensitive gums
  • Bleeding gums when brushing
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A metallic taste in your mouth
  • Excess saliva
  • Loose tooth

These are also signs of gingivitis or gum disease. Gum disease threatens oral and overall health. The dental disease will destroy the bone beneath the tooth if it remains untreated. This in turn increases your risk of tooth decay and tooth loss. Because of the mouth body connection, bacteria from gum infection may enter your body through the bloodstream. Systemic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease may develop as a result.

Give Your Gums a Treat at Orange Grove Family Dentistry

Do you suspect you may have unhealthy gums? Visit us! We're here to provide all your oral health needs at our comfortable dental clinic in Orange, CA. Our professional dental team is armed with the latest technology and techniques for performing oral exams, x-rays, teeth cleanings, and periodontal treatment. Call (714) 771-1204 or head here to schedule a consultation today!

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