Our Methods for Healthy Gums
When it comes to oral heath, most people first think about the health of their teeth. It’s only natural. And while that’s obviously a very important component, patients often forget about gum health. Even if you have a bright white smile and haven’t had a cavity in decades, it doesn’t mean you’re immune to gum diseases. And since gum disease can build slowly and progress over time, many people don’t realize they have a serious problem until the disease has caused significant damage to their mouths.
Why is gum health so important? Your gums are comprised of soft tissue that surrounds the teeth and provides a seal to prevent food and other foreign objects from passing through. Unlike other soft tissues in your mouth (like lips and cheeks), your gums are bound tightly to the underlying bone. This allows us to eat a variety of food efficiently.
As you get older, your gums can become more susceptible to disease. This can also lead to other issues—like heart disease—that can become serious as you age.
As dentists, we would be remiss to not remind our patients that the best thing you can do for gum health is brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. While your teeth may feel clean after just brushing, the truth is that you are only reaching a fraction of your teeth without pulling out the floss as well. Imagine showering everyday but never washing your hair. At some point, people around you will realize that your hair is dirty. This is true for your gums, too.
And, of course, it’s important to get regular dental cleanings. Dentists are able to detect early gum disease before you are. This means treatment can begin sooner and any negative effects can be reversed.
What are gum massagers?
Sure, you’ve heard of back massagers to loosen up sore muscles, but what about gum massagers? Just like when you massage any other part of your body, you feel better immediately thanks to the stimulation to your circulatory system.
A gum massager can be found on the end of your toothbrush or you can purchase a separate product. Typically they’re made of rubber and should produce no pain when used. By vigorously rubbing the gums, fresh air is integrated into these spaces. This kills off bacteria that are anaerobic—or can’t live without oxygen.
In addition to killing off bacteria, gum massage can remove plaque that’s stuck along the gum line. And finally, getting blood flowing through stimulation can begin to heal damaged gums. If you have experienced gum disease that results in gum recession, some studies have even shown that gum massage can stimulate gum growth.
I am unhappy with my gum line
Some of our patients tell us that they’re unhappy with how their gums look. This is generally when patients have what’s commonly described as a “gummy smile.” This means that they have long gums that make their teeth appear smaller than they really are.
Having excess gum can also increase a person’s risk of gum disease. If you suffer from a gummy smile, then a gum lift might help you achieve a smile you’re proud of. However, before you undergo any procedure it’s important you have no periodontal disease or other oral health issue.
On the other side of the coin, gum recession results in gums that are too high and that make your teeth look too large for your mouth. More alarmingly, if the gum pulls back too far it can expose the root of the tooth, which can lead to significant tooth decay or disease. This can occur as a result of untreated gum diseases. To prevent it from getting worse, gum contouring could be an option.
Gum heath is just as important as tooth health. If you are suffering from redness, swelling or bleeding of the gums it is important that you schedule an appointment to visit your density today. Untreated gum disease can cause serious health problems and need to be treated immediately.
Also published on Medium.