What do healthy gums look like?
When it comes to your oral health, it’s not all about how bright your smile is or how straight your teeth are. You can’t forget about your gums! Healthy gums should look pink and firm, not red or swollen.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky layer of bacteria, which builds up under and along the gum line. It can cause infections that can affect the gums and bone, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and can cause your gums to become:
- Prone to bleeding
Fortunately, the damage is reversable as it does not impact the bone and tissue holding the teeth in place.
Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease. It is quite common but preventable. Without treatment periodontitis can impact the jaw, bones, tissue connected to your teeth and ruin the gums.
Some signs you might have periodontitis include:
- Gums that easily bleed
- Consistently bad breath
- Gums that have receded from your teeth
- Separating or loose permanent teeth
- Gums that are red, swollen or tender
How can I prevent gum disease?
Gum disease is preventable. Below are a few tips to keeping your gums healthy.
- Flossing – Floss at least once a day. This helps to remove plaque and food beyond the reach of your toothbrush. It is important to get in the habit of flossing for your overall mouth health.
- Regular check ups and cleans with your Dentist – Seeing your dentist regularly for check ups and cleans is very important as they can detect any signs of early gum disease. That way symptoms can be treated before they become more serious. A professional cleaning will get rid of any plaque you may have missed when brushing or flossing and is the only way to remove tartar. If you have any gum concerns such as gingivitis; brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings can help reverse it.
- Brushing twice a day – Brushing your teeth twice a day is very important for your oral health. It helps to remove the food and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Consider switching to an electric toothbrush as they can help reduce gingivitis and plaque more than manual brushing. We would recommend changing your toothbrush heads very three to four months, or sooner if the bristles start to fray.
- Quit smoking – Another reason for smokers to quit; smoking is strongly associated with the onset of gum disease. As smoking weakens your immune system, it also makes it harder for your body to fight off gum infections. If your gums have been damaged, smoking makes it more difficult for your gums to heal.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste – Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride as it helps to fight bacteria that harm teeth and gums.
- Use a therapeutic mouthwash – Available for purchase at our clinics or over the counter, therapeutic mouthwashes can help to prevent or reduce gingivitis, reduce plaque and reduce the speed tartar develops. Rinsing with mouthwash helps remove food particles and debris from your mouth, though it is not a substitute for brushing or flossing.
Speak To The Team
If you have any more questions or are wanting to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact our Smile Place Dental team.