How To Tell If Your Gums Are Healthy
The first step in determining the health of your gums and oral hygiene should always be a dental visit, but while you are in between your general visits, it’s important to recognize if your gums need more attention. Healthy gums should appear pink and feel firm. If your gums are red or inflamed, or they bleed while you’re brushing and flossing, you may be experiencing the beginning symptoms of gum disease, also called gingivitis. Loose teeth, receding gums and damaged connective tissue can all be signs of periodontitis, which is the further progression of gum disease.
Brush Your Teeth
This tip may sound obvious, but there is a proper way to brush your teeth – and several improper ways. Make sure you are brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. While brushing, it’s important to not brush too aggressively. Horizontal scrubbing is bad! According to the American Dental Association, you should gently brush your teeth back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes. Make sure you are reaching all the surfaces of your teeth – including the outer surfaces, inner surfaces and chewing surfaces – while taking care to brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
While brushing your teeth is very important, there are limits to your toothbrush’s reach. Flossing allows you to remove food particles that may have been left behind in between your teeth. If you don’t remove those particles, the plaque and bacteria will begin to irritate your gums, potentially leading to gingivitis. It doesn’t matter when you do it during the day; just make sure you are flossing at least once!
Using an ADA-approved mouthwash twice a day can lower your risk of gingivitis while also reducing plaque buildup, bad breath and tooth decay. Make sure when purchasing your mouthwash that you choose a therapeutic mouthwash over a cosmetic one. Therapeutic mouthwash includes the active ingredients that fight bacteria in your mouth, while cosmetic mouthwash does not include any active ingredients; it just temporarily gives you a fresh taste.
Smoking greatly increases your risk of developing gum disease. When you smoke, you are decreasing your body’s ability to fight off diseases by weakening your immune system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smokers have twice the risk for gum disease that nonsmokers have.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
During your routine dental cleaning, hygienists make sure to clear any plaque and tartar buildup that couldn’t be accomplished via your daily oral health routine. We will also be able to determine whether any additional dental care is needed, or whether early signs of disease are present.
Your Gum Health Matters
While keeping your teeth clean and white is great, caring for your gums is just as important. Your gums play an important role in your overall health. Gum disease has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, pregnancy complications and dementia. Taking care of your gums is taking care of your body!
Time To Start
It’s never too late to start caring about your oral health! Always start with a dental visit to establish where you are in your oral health journey, and create a daily routine that cares for your teeth and gums. Creating good habits now can save you a lot of health issues and potential costs in the future. Make sure to schedule your routine check-up today with Perimeter Dental Group to begin your personalized oral health journey.