Gum Health And You

dental bridges, dental implants, denturesAs someone who vigilantly attends to all aspects of your oral health, the fact that taking care of your gums is just as crucial as taking care of your teeth is probably old news to you. You spend equal amounts of time brushing your gums and teeth! You regularly check for signs of malaise and always discuss the health of your gums when you visit your dentist! Your gums are pink, and ready to meet the world! On the off, off chance that you’re not as adamant about gum health as we’ve just (rightly) assumed, then let us help lead you to the good path! Gingivitis, periodontal disease and the complications they can cause are some of the most common issues many people have with their oral health. Don’t fall victim to less than perfect gingiva!

The Characteristics Of Healthy Gums

Your gums will provide some easy to spot clues when trying to determine their health. You can either ask your dentist the next time you visit how your gums are looking, or find a mirror in a well-lit room and spend a few minutes determining yourself. Healthy gums generally can be distinguished by possessing the following characteristics:

  • Color- Healthy gums have a very particular color. It can be easily described as a light or coral pink. Gums that are red or a deeper pink are most likely irritated or inflamed. Gums that are white probably don’t have adequate circulation going through them. Sometimes healthy gums are discolored because of a particular medication that person is taking, because they have problems with circulation, or because their gums are just naturally a slightly different shade! Another important aspect of the color of your gums is the uniformity of it. Your gums should be basically the same shade across the board. Small areas that are particularly white or red could signal infection or injury. However some people essentially have freckles on their gums, with certain spots containing more melanin than others.

  • Texture- The texture of healthy gums should be smooth and resilient. Your gums should feel firm if you push on them with your fingers or tongue. Gums that are not as healthy are a lot softer and malleable to the touch. Some gums have a ridged surface not unlike the peel of an orange. This is also an indicator of unhealthy gums. The gums should appear taught.

  • Shape- Healthy gums “hug” each tooth in a half-moon shape. Each separate tooth should have an arch of gum above it. Unhealthy gums will visibly pull away from the tooth and accordingly may lose some of their arched shape. Gums that are well taken care of become thinnest right before they hit the surface of the teeth. They don’t appear thick or swollen at this location.

  • Reaction- Healthy gums do not bleed easily. Instead they react very little to brushing and flossing. Sometimes a dentist will gently poke your gum to see if it bleeds or if it releases any other liquids.

Caring For Your Gums

There are several things you should keep in mind when caring for your gums. However, just completing the motions of someone with excellent gingival health won’t do it for you! You must practice proper methods and routines to achieve the four characteristics above. If you’re having a hard trouble finding motivation keep this in mind: not only do poor gums look off, they can actually cause all sorts of discomfort! From swelling and soreness to the lengthy procedures that result from poor gum hygiene, it’s all around safer, easier, less expensive (and less painful!) to be someone who cares about their gums.

  • Brushing- Brushing twice a day for two minutes both times is one of the surest ways to promote healthy gums. Don’t be afraid to brush your gums! So long as you’re using a soft-bristled brush and are doing so gently you can only cause more good than harm. Angle your brush at 45 degrees (either up or down, towards the gums) and gently brush (overlapping teeth and gum) in a circular motion. By doing this you’re actually stimulating your gums which will accordingly tighten around your teeth giving you healthier gums!

  • Flossing- Flossing in no means comes in second place to brushing! You may be an adamant brusher and leave flossing for a special occasion when you’re feeling particularly health conscience. This is not how it should be. Flossing daily is crucial to loosening food particles under the gums that breed bacteria and ill health. No matter what you’re doing in their with your brush it’s not enough! Take a long piece of waxed floss between your fingers at least once a day. Follow the curvature of your teeth carefully dipping below the gum line. You should be making a “C” motion with your floss.

  • Eating right- Even someone who takes all the other steps to prevent unhealthy gums can be negatively affected by a diet high in sugary foods. While rinsing after consuming sugary drinks or foods is helpful, it in no way removes all the remnants of your guilty snack! Save sweet treats for a special occasion and otherwise make an active effort to get the foods your body (and gums!) need! Fruits and vegetables are loaded with all the right sorts of vitamins to earn you those healthy gum characteristics! Drink plenty of water. Stimulating salivary production is one of the key ways you can return your mouth to its neutral balance and clear it of potentially harmful acids and bacteria.

Watch It! Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the most common side effect of ill cared for gums. If you’re suffering from gingivitis you may notice the following:

  • Sore or tender gums that hurt to touch.

  • Swollen gums that look puffy upon inspection.

  • Red gums that bleed when brushed or touched.

  • Gums that are receding away from the teeth and teeth that accordingly feel lose.

Not treating gingivitis before it progresses into periodontal disease can lead to terrible consequences including tooth loss and necessary gum surgery. Call Dr. Bosse of Greenspoint Dental today and step up your gum health game!