Cathy Wong is a nutritionist and wellness expert. Her work is regularly featured in media such as First For Women, Woman's World, and Natural Health.
Sumaya Ibraheem, DDS, is a general dentist practicing in New York. She works in numerous private practices, comprehensively caring for a diverse patient population in all areas of general dentistry.
A number of natural remedies may help you achieve healthy gums, an important part of your overall wellbeing. When added to an oral hygiene routine that also includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing often, and visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups, these natural remedies may help fend off gum disease.
Causes of Gum Disease
In your mouth, bacteria are constantly forming a sticky substance called plaque on your teeth. Brushing and flossing can help you get rid of plaque, but the substance can also harden and, in turn, form another substance called tartar.
In many cases, the buildup of plaque and tartar can lead to the development of gingivitis, a condition marked by inflammation of the gums. When left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis (meaning “inflammation around the tooth”). Not only known to cause tooth loss, periodontitis has been linked to heart disease in a number of studies.
Before using any type of natural remedy for healthy gums, remember that no remedy should be used as a substitute for standard oral care.
Although no natural remedy has been found to treat or prevent gum disease, certain remedies may help fight plaque buildup and keep your gums healthy. Here's a look at five natural remedies said to promote healthy gums.
An ayurvedic remedy, neem extract from an evergreen tree native to India has been found to possess antibacterial properties. Research on neem and gum health includes a small study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine in 2014.
For this study, 105 children (ages 12 to 15) used mouthwashes containing neem, mango, or chlorhexidine (an antiseptic found in many types of mouthwash) twice a day for three weeks. Results revealed that all three types of mouthwash were effective in reducing plaque and inhibiting gingivitis.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil may aid in the treatment of gingivitis, according to a report published in Clinical Microbiology Reviews in 2006. If you’re thinking of using tea tree oil for gum health, choose a toothpaste that contains this essential oil as an ingredient. Ingesting undiluted tea tree oil (or using homemade tea tree oil tooth remedies) can be toxic.
Some research shows that cranberry may help thwart gum disease by preventing bacteria from sticking to your teeth. What's more, a preliminary study published in the Journal of Periodontal Research in 2013 suggests that compounds found in cranberry may help regulate periodontitis-related inflammation.
There's some evidence that vitamin C could play a role in protecting gum health. In a study published in the Journal of Periodontology in 2000, for example, researchers analyzed data on 12,419 adults and found that those who consumed the least vitamin C had the greatest risk of periodontal disease.
For help in filling up on vitamin C, include foods such as grapefruit, oranges, kiwi, mango, papaya, strawberry, red pepper, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe in your diet.
A remedy long used in Ayurveda, oil pulling involves swishing a tablespoon of oil (such as coconut oil or sesame oil) around your mouth for about 15 minutes at a time.
Research on oil pulling's health effects is limited, but several small studies (including a clinical trial published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research in 2009) have indicated that oil pulling may reduce plaque buildup and offer some protection against gingivitis.
Along with using good oral hygiene practices, you can preserve your oral health by following a diet high in calcium-rich foods and low in sugary foods and beverages.
Several lifestyle practices may also help enhance your gum health. For instance, avoiding smoking (and any other form of tobacco use) can significantly lower your risk of developing gum disease. There’s also some evidence that managing your stress can help keep your gums healthy.
A Word From Verywell
Preserve your oral health by brushing, flossing, and having your teeth professinally cleaned. If you're experiencing symptoms such as bleeding gums, pain while chewing, or sensitivity in your teeth, it's crucial to consult your dentist rather than attempting to self-treat gum health issues with natural remedies.
Sharma R, Hebbal M, Ankola AV, Murugaboopathy V, Shetty SJ. Effect of two herbal mouthwashes on gingival health of school children. J Tradit Complement Med. 2014;4(4):272-8. doi:10.4103/2225-4110.131373
Nishida M, Grossi SG, Dunford RG, Ho AW, Trevisan M, Genco RJ. Dietary vitamin C and the risk for periodontal disease. J Periodontol. 2000;71(8):1215-23. doi:10.1902/jop.2000.71.8.1215
Goyal S, Gupta G, Thomas B, Bhat KM, Bhat GS. Stress and periodontal disease: The link and logic!!. Ind Psychiatry J. 2013;22(1):4–11. doi:10.4103/0972-6748.123585
Asokan S1, Rathan J, Muthu MS, Rathna PV, Emmadi P; Raghuraman; Chamundeswari. "Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study." J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2008 Mar;26(1):12-7.
Deinzer R1, Hilpert D, Bach K, Schawacht M, Herforth A. "Effects of academic stress on oral hygiene–a potential link between stress and plaque-associated disease?" J Clin Periodontol. 2001 May;28(5):459-64.
Peedikayil FC1, Sreenivasan P2, Narayanan A3. "Effect of coconut oil in plaque-related gingivitis – A preliminary report." Niger Med J. 2015 Mar-Apr;56(2):143-7.
Great oral health starts with the gums. While most people focus on the teeth, gums are just as important – in many ways, even more critical, since they hold the teeth in place. The foundation for a healthy smile is rooted (literally) in clean, healthy gums.
And that’s especially important for children. According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay and gum disease (gingivitis) are closely linked. About 1 in 5 children aged 5-11 have at least one decayed tooth, which is a direct result of gingivitis. About 60% of U.S. children show signs of gum disease. All of which means knowing how to get healthy gums and keep them that way is a crucial process for superior health.
The Super Dentists, San Diego’s premier pediatric , parent dentistry and orthodontics practice, thinks everyone deserves a winning smile – and it starts with good teeth and gum care. So what do healthy gums look like ? How can you tell the difference between healthy vs unhealthy gums ? Not sure how to strengthen gums naturally or which foods are ideal for healthy gums ?
After a brief overview of the hazards of gum disease, l et’s look at some different ways your child can boost their gum health – which ultimately leads to overall wellbeing!
What are the Dangers of Gum Disease?
The statistics about gum disease are alarming enough – but did you know that gingivitis is linked to an assortment of maladies and diseases, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, fertility and more?
Currently, the link between gum disease and higher mortality from COVID-19 illustrates a topical urgency on this subject. A recent study showed that patients with gum disease were almost 10 times as likely to die of COVID-19 than patients with healthy gums .
It appears the bacteria and microbes associated with gum disease cause a severe spike in the immune system, which, in terms of the body’s ability to fight off respiratory disease like COVID-19, is like throwing gasoline on the fire. That is why knowing how to get healthy gums is more critical than ever before!
Homecare for Healthy Gums
Getting healthy gums isn’t just good for your mouth – it’s good for your entire body and overall well-being! And it’s easier than you think to obtain healthy gums! Try these healthy oral hygiene habits for a few weeks, and you’ll soon discover the difference between healthy vs unhealthy gums.
- Brush more often. Already brushing your teeth twice per day? Try adding in another brief brushing session – for example, a lunchtime brush (if you already brush your teeth in the morning and before bed).
- Say so long to nicotine and tobacco. If you smoke or use smokeless tobacco products, quit the habit and your mouth will thank you (so will the people around you). When people ask The Super Dentists h ow to get healthy gums , this is one of our favorite answers for smokers.
- Don’t forget to floss. Flossing helps remove bacteria and food debris, two of the main catalysts for gum disease. It only takes a minute, but this small step pays big dividends in the quest for healthy gums.
Positive habits and behaviors start at home. Make sure to encourage your children to take care of their teeth & gums on a daily basis .
Healthy Gums vs. Unhealthy Gums – The Big Difference in Oral Health
What do healthy gums look like , and what color are healthy gums ? Simply put, healthy gums have a healthy pink color and are absent of any discoloration or recession. Inflammation and bleeding are two obvious signs of unhealthy gums. If your child experiences bleeding while brushing or flossing, there’s a good chance they have early onset gingivitis.
Other signs of unhealthy gums include:
- Receding gum line
- Areas of white spots on the gums
- Pockets between teeth and gums
- Loss of tissue and bone (this indicates severe gingivitis)
Your child’s gums should be pink or red, with no receding. Also, their gums shouldn’t bleed from brushing or flossing. Keeping their gums (and your gums) healthy is just as important for oral health as it is for overall health; numerous studies show links between poor oral health (including gingivitis) and other health problems , including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and more.
How to Strengthen Gums Naturally | Food for Healthy Gums
Aside from smart, disciplined at-home oral health, another way to strengthen gums naturally is with a sensible diet of mouth-friendly foods. Limit your child’s sugar intake and make sure they drink plenty of water (instead of sugary soft drinks and fruit juice).
Additionally, here are some foods for healthy gums that can help strengthen gums naturally:
- Apples – C onsidered Mother Nature’s floss by some experts, apples have natural acids that help clean teeth and gums. What’s more, the fruit’s skin acts as a natural flossing mechanism to keep gums healthy! Encourage your child to eat an apple for dessert!
- Dairy products – C alcium is essential for healthy teeth and gums, and few foods can match dairy for concentrated calcium content. Sugar-free yogurt, milk and cheese are smart options here.
- Fibrous vegetables – F iber is an underrated ingredient for healthy gums. Fibrous veggies take extra chewing to break down, which prompts extra saliva production. The saliva, in turn, washes away harmful bacteria to keep gums free of food particles and plaque.
- Ginger root – T his pungent herb isn’t normally considered a mouth-friendly food, but it has naturally occurring anti-inflammatory compounds to promote healthy teeth and gums. Try some in a stir fry for your next family meal. Instead of jarred ginger, go with freshly grated ginger root.
What do healthy gums look like ? They look like a healthy diet and consistent oral hygiene! Those who enjoy a wide assortment of natural, whole foods! Along with brushing, flossing and giving up bad habits (see above), substitute sugar and processed snacks with the foods listed above, and you’ll soon learn how effortless it really is to obtain and maintain healthy gums !
Ensure Optimal Gum Health – Visit The Super Dentists Today!
A great smile starts with solid gum health. Know the difference between healthy vs unhealthy gums . The Super Dentists, San Diego’s largest and most trusted pediatric dentistry, orthodontics and parent dentistry practice, is here to help with your family’s oral healthcare needs. From our innovative dental care techniques to a patient-friendly atmosphere, The Super Dentists are ready and looking forward to seeing you soon!
One of the keys to keeping your mouth healthy is maintaining healthy gums. Gum disease is the top cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease starts as a mild condition. It is easy to reverse gum disease in the early stages. However, if you don’t treat it, it will eventually destroy the bone and tissue that supports the teeth.
You may have questions about improving your gum health or how to prevent gum disease. If so, there are some common steps you should consider if you’ve experienced the early signs of gum disease or you’d like to get out in front of any future issues. Read on to learn more.
Brush With Fluoridated Toothpaste
Fluorine helps strengthen your teeth. You need to brush for two minutes. Spend about 30 seconds in each of the four quadrants of your mouth. Replace your toothbrush every three months. If you have been sick, it is good to replace your toothbrush to prevent reinfection. It is also crucial for you to store your toothbrush correctly. Put it in a breathable but covered container (like a medicine cabinet or drawer) to prevent microorganisms from growing. You want your toothbrush to dry between uses and avoid being splashed by sinks or even toilets.
Flossing is something that you need to do at least once a day. There are spots in your mouth that you may miss when brushing. You can reach those spots with your floss. It doesn’t matter when you floss. You can floss before breakfast, in the middle of the day, or before you go to bed. As long as you floss once a day, you benefit your oral health.
Use An Antibacterial Mouthwash
Mouthwash can do a lot more than just freshen your breath. It can also help maintain the health of your gums. Mouthwash will remove the plaque from your gums. It is important to remember that not all mouthwashes are equal. Make sure that you look for a mouthwash that has a seal from the American Dental Association.
Get Regular Dental Cleanings
Your dentist will be able to spot early symptoms of gum disease. They can perform a special cleaning that will remove plaque and tartar from your gums and teeth. Regular cleaning can also reverse gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. You should see your dentist twice a year, but you may need to see your dentist more often if you have a history of gum disease.
If you are a current smoker, you should quit smoking. There are several ways that smoking can hurt your gums. Smoking tends to weaken your immune system, making it harder for your gums to fight off an infection. It is also harder for damaged gums to heal if you are a smoker. Keep in mind that chewing tobacco is just as harmful as smoking, so it’s best to avoid that too.
Watch Your Diet
Some foods can hurt and help your gums. Sticky, starchy, and sugary foods are some of the worst foods you can consume. The sugar from these foods can combine with plaque that creates an acid that causes tooth decay.
Rather than purely focusing on what to subtract from your diet, start focusing on healthy foods to add to your diet, like raw vegetables and fruits (carrots, cucumbers, celery, and apples are great choices). These crunchy foods high in fiber will stimulate saliva production, which naturally cleanses your mouth.
Dairy products can also help keep your gums healthy. Most dairy products are a great source of calcium. This nutrient helps strengthen your teeth and gums. Dairy products also help encourage the production of beneficial bacteria.
Besides being great for your overall health, water is the best beverage you can drink if you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy. It’s sugar-free and helps wash away food particles that could lead to cavities if not cleared away.
It is best to avoid chewing sugar-sweetened gum because it can cause cavities. If you love to chew gum, try the sugar-free kind. Chewing sugar-free gum helps stimulate saliva production. It also helps prevent plaque from building up. Reducing plaque helps keep your gums healthy.
If you have questions about gum disease or require gum disease treatment in Southwest Michigan, please contact your local Fortson Dentistry office, and we can help you set up an appointment to discuss your options.
Fortson Dentistry’s staff provides high-quality dental services to our patients in Southeast Michigan from our five locations.
Practicing good oral hygiene is a must for healthy gums. If you want to avoid oral health issues, such as gum disease, you should know what needs to be done for proper maintenance.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is when there is a build-up of plaque and tartar on your gums. These substances are filled with bacteria, which cause infections leading to gum disease and tooth decay. It has three stages:
- Gingivitis is the early stage. This is where the gums feel tender and appear red, swollen and bleed easily. It can be treated with diligent brushing and flossing if caught early on.
- Mild to moderate periodontitis is the next stage, this is when there is more inflammation and bleeding around the tooth. This may then cause your gums to pull away from your teeth.
- Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease. The gums further recede from the tooth and there is more destruction of the bone that holds the teeth. Thus, causing them to become so loose that they must be removed.
So, how can you prevent all of those from happening? Here are some ways you can maintain healthy gums:
Avoid sugary treats and eat the right food.
Regularly eating sweets is not good for your oral health. Sugar is stubborn and tends to stay on your mouth for hours. Instead snack on health treats such as fruits, for example. The texture of apples help remove plaque on your teeth and gum line.
Never forget to brush your teeth.
This is the basic rule when it comes to oral hygiene. Brush at least twice a day and to use a fluoridated toothpaste. You must also replace your toothbrush every three months.
Flossing helps remove plaque and bits of food that your toothbrush won’t be able to reach.
More than half of the surface of your teeth are found in between them. Daily flossing will help prevent bacteria from building up in these hard to reach places.
Aside from giving you fresh breath, it also helps reduce plaque and lowers your chance of getting gingivitis.
Get your teeth professionally cleaned.
Dentists will be able to prevent gum disease from happening. Regular visits, will help detect symptoms and treat them early on. Additionally the only way you can remove tough tartar is through professional cleaning. So, if you want a thorough cleaning, you should get the help of a professional.
Healthier gums mean healthier teeth, so taking care of them is no doubt a must. At Brite Dental, we believe that the foundations of a confident and beautiful smile are healthy teeth and gums that’s why we offer a wide array of dental services such as General Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Preventive Dentistry and Orthodontics. With us, You can have regular check-ups and cleanings to maintain your oral health.
You won’t have to worry about gum disease if you can prevent it from happening in the first place. Consult with us and get your dental health on track!
Without proper gum care, several conditions could cause problems affecting the look and feel of your entire mouth. Learn why healthy gums are so important – and how to improve gum health in 5 minutes or less.
Why Do Gums Matter?
Even if you’ve heard of gum disease, do you really know what it is? Because if you have it, you might not even know. Early-stage gum disease isn’t obvious and doesn’t cause pain.
A leading cause of tooth loss in adults, gum disease starts with bacterial plaque buildup. The plaque can harden into dental tartar, and you might experience swollen gum tissue. You can reverse early-stage gum disease known as gingivitis with our 5-minute at-home healthy-gum process.
However, you’ll need professional treatment if gingivitis develops into periodontitis, the next gum disease stage. Periodontitis can result in the development of periodontal pockets and bone loss, which could lead to tooth loss. That’s why gums matter.
So, you should talk to your dental professionals if you experience:
Improve Gum Health
You can prevent gum disease or reverse gingivitis with simple steps that take just a few minutes. And, yes, these steps are also the best way to keep your teeth decay-free.
So, for five minutes each day:
- Clean between your teeth. Floss or use an interdental product to remove plaque both from between your teeth and under your gums between your teeth – before it can harden into tartar.
- Brush with a plaque-removing fluoride toothpaste. If you use a battery-operated or electric toothbrush, follow the package directions for brushing your teeth, gums, and tongue. If you use a manual toothbrush, follow these easy steps:
- Proper Angle: Make sure you hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle towards the gumline.
- Short Strokes: Move the brush back and forth in short, gentle strokes, brushing both the front and back of your teeth and gums.
- Tip Top: To get behind your front teeth, use the brush’s tip on the top and the bottom teeth.
- Tongue Attention: Use a lighter touch to brush away bacteria from your tongue.
- Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash designed to prevent plaque.
Did You Know? You should brush twice a day for two minutes each time, spending 30 seconds on each quarter of your teeth.
To ensure your gum-healthy routine is working, visit your dentist regularly for checkups. These visits are also essential for regular professional cleanings that remove every bit of plaque and tartar that slipped by you.
Though five minutes or less is what you need at the very least, you can also make conscious lifestyle choices that will further strengthen your gums and teeth:
- Limit sugary, sticky, or starchy foods. Bacteria gobble up the sugars in these foods to produces the acids leading to tooth decay.
- Avoid cigarettes and tobacco products. Smoking weakens your immune system, making it harder to defend your body against diseases, including gum disease.
If you plan on keeping your natural teeth for a lifetime, give your gums some loving care for 0.0035 percent of each 1,440-minute day. That’s not a lot of time, and it will save you countless hours you’d need for gum disease treatments. Healthy gums = happy teeth!
Gum disease starts when plaque builds up under and along the gum line. Plaque is a sticky film-like substance that’s filled with bacteria. It can cause infections that hurt the gum and bone, leading to gum disease and tooth decay. Plaque also can cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease.
Gingivitis causes your gums to become:
- prone to bleeding
Gum disease is preventable.
Here are a few ways you can help keep your gums healthy.
Floss at least once a day. This helps remove the plaque and food that’s beyond your toothbrush’s reach, according to the ADA. It doesn’t matter when you floss. Do it at night, do it in the morning, or do it after lunch… just do it!
2. Get regular dental cleanings
Your dentist can detect early gum disease symptoms if you see them on a regular basis. That way symptoms can be treated before they become more serious. A professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar. It can also get rid of any plaque you missed when brushing or flossing. If you have gingivitis, brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings can help reverse it.
3. Quit smoking
Yet another reason for smokers to quit: Smoking is strongly associated with the onset of gum disease. Since smoking weakens your immune system, it also makes it harder to fight off a gum infection, say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Plus, smoking makes it more difficult for your gums to heal once they’ve been damaged.
4. Brush twice a day
Brush your teeth after every meal. This helps remove the food and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Scrub your tongue too, since it can harbor bacteria. Your toothbrush should have soft bristles and fit in your mouth comfortably, says the Mayo Clinic . Consider a battery-powered or electric toothbrush. These can help reduce gingivitis and plaque more than manual brushing. Swap toothbrushes or toothbrush heads every three to
5. Use fluoride toothpaste
As for toothpaste, store shelves are lined with brands that claim to reduce gingivitis, freshen breath, and whiten teeth. How do you know which one is best for healthy gums? Make sure to choose toothpaste that contains fluoride and has the ADA seal of acceptance. After that, the flavor and color is up to you!
6. Use a therapeutic mouthwash
Usually available over the counter, therapeutic mouthwashes can help reduce plaque, prevent or reduce gingivitis, reduce the speed that tarter develops, or a combination of these benefits, according to the ADA. Plus: A rinse helps remove food particles and debris from your mouth, though it’s not a substitute for flossing or brushing. Look for the ADA seal, which means it’s been deemed effective and safe.
It doesn’t matter whether your brush, floss, or rinse first. Just do a good job and use the right products.
Gum disease today is less common than in the past. But it still affects nearly 1 in 10 American adults by the time they reach age 64. If you don’t floss every day, and brush at least twice a day, you are at risk. Here’s why you should care.
Healthy Gums and Your Overall Health
Many studies suggest that the health of your gums influences your overall health. For example:
- Heart health: Moderate to severe gum disease has been shown to increase inflammation levels throughout the entire body. Some studies suggest that inflammation from severe gum disease may be linked to the risk of stroke as well as heart disease, which is also an inflammatory disease.
- Lung health: Some research suggests that periodontal health may help promote lung health for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Periodontal disease can also increase the risk of respiratory infections such as pneumonia. This may occur from inhaling bacteria into the respiratory tract.
- Nutritional health: If you lose teeth from gum disease, it may become harder to eat healthy foods such as crisp fruits and vegetables. Chewing problems can lead to poor nutrition, which, in turn, can cause other problems, including fatigue and dizziness.
- Emotional health: Your smile is your calling card to the world. And most of us feel more confident when they have an attractive smile. But in the U.S. dentists pull 20 million teeth every year, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. And 86% of dentists say social embarrassment is one of the biggest problems people report after noticeable tooth loss.
9 Tips for Keeping Healthy Gums
So what do you need to do to keep your gums healthy? Here are the basics:
- Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure to brush along the gum line in addition to your teeth.
- Replace worn-out toothbrushes at least every three to four months because they can injure your gums.
- Floss between teeth or use an inter-dental cleaner once a day.
- Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash at least once a day.
- See your dentist for checkups and cleanings two or more times a year. If gums are bleeding, don’t wait. See your dentist right away. If you have periodontal disease, the dentist or dental assistant can use deep-cleaning measures or apply antibiotics. If disease is advanced, surgery can clean badly diseased gum pockets.
- Keep your dentist up to date about any changes in your overall health, especially if you are pregnant or entering menopause, or have a disease such as diabetes. In these cases, pay special care to your dental health. You may be more susceptible to gingivitis.
- Limit sugary snacks and drinks.
- Eat a balanced diet. A recent study in men age 65 and older showed a special benefit to eating a diet rich in high-fiber fruit. This appears to slow the progression of periodontal disease.
- If you’re a smoker, do everything possible to quit. People who smoke are more likely to have a buildup of plaque and tartar. In fact, smokers may be up to four times more likely to develop advanced periodontal disease than nonsmokers.
NIDCR: “Periodontal Disease in Adults (Age 20 to 64).”
Nemours Foundation: “Gum Disease.”
US Dept of HHS Office on Women’s Health: “Oral Health Fact Sheet.”
American Academy of Periodontology: “Healthy Gums and a Healthy Heart: The Perio-Cardio Connection;” “Healthy Gums May Lead to Healthy Lungs;” and “Gum Disease and Diabetes.”
Your Mouth Is Talking To You – Bleeding Gums, Bad Breath and Sensitive Teeth are Signs You May Have Gum Disease. Get Healthy Gums and Keep Your Teeth…
When you think of your dental health, what comes to mind? For many people, dental health begins and ends with healthy teeth. They focus their efforts on keeping teeth clean and free of cavities, and neglect the tissue that surrounds and protects their teeth – their gums.
Healthy gums are just as important as healthy teeth. They form a seal that protects the underlying bone and provides a barrier against infection. However, this seal can be broken when plaque builds up along the gum line and can cause inflammation known as gingivitis.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gingivitis is caused by a buildup of plaque where the gum meets the tooth, and is often associated with periodontal pockets. These occur when the vertical space between the tooth and gum line becomes greater than three millimeters.
At this stage, gum disease is reversible. However, if left untreated, plaque can migrate down the root and cause more serious inflammation or even bone loss. The bone can become scalloped and uneven and bone volume will decrease around the teeth. This stage of periodontal disease is called periodontitis, which is irreversible.
This is a very definitive diagnosis and the most common reason people lose their teeth. What’s interesting is that all of this happens without discomfort, which makes it difficult for patients to understand how serious it can be.
How To Prevent Gum Disease
Clearly, our gums play an important role in our dental health and deserve the same level of care as our teeth. Here are a few ways to help prevent gum disease and reverse the early signs of gingivitis.
1. Practice good oral hygiene
Brushing and flossing daily not only protects your teeth, it keeps harmful plaque from forming that can lead to gingivitis. If you are not already, brush your teeth properly at least twice a day and floss at least once a day, preferably in the evening to remove any food and debris from the day.
2. Keep up with your regular dental cleanings
Regular dental cleanings are necessary to remove built-up plaque and tartar that can negatively impact your oral health. While you may think you’re doing a good job at keeping your teeth and gum line clean, there is only so much a toothbrush and waterpik can do.
3. Get a deep cleaning, if needed
Over time, tartar can develop below the gum line putting you at an increased risk of periodontal disease and periodontitis. Deep teeth cleaning – also known as scaling and root planning, or non-surgical periodontal therapy – is the process of removing tartar that forms beneath the gum line to stop the progression of gum disease.
If you think you may have gum disease, or are nervous about the health of your gums, schedule an appointment with our dentist office in Brandon, FL. We’ll be happy to confirm your diagnosis and help you restore your dental health.
Take a look at yourself in the mirror and smile. Sure enough, you’ll immediately notice your pearly whites, but what about the gums protecting them? Do they appear firm and pink?
While most people focus on tooth care, the health of your gums is equally vital as they surround and support your teeth, along with the bones of your jaws. Your gums serve as barriers against oral infection, and you can keep them healthy by following the tips below.
#1 Observe Proper Oral Hygiene
Brushing helps remove food and keep plaque—a sticky, colorless or pale yellow film containing bacteria—from forming in your mouth. Plaque can harden under your gum line and turn into tartar. Tartar buildup may lead to inflammation that causes gum disease. Untreated gum disease may lead to tooth loss.
To keep your gums healthy, brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time. Keeping your teeth clean can help prevent gum disease and cavities. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. You may also use an electric or battery-operated toothbrush, which provides superior plaque removal compared to a manual toothbrush. It also works well for people with hand arthritis or children who like the idea of a “machine” brushing their teeth.
Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle and slide the bristle towards the area where the teeth and gums meet. Gently brush with circular back-and-forth motions. After brushing your teeth, don’t forget to floss to reach the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gum line. Be gentle while flossing to avoid hurting your gums.
#2 Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating healthy foods boosts your immune system and enables it to fight against infection. Include food rich in antioxidant properties in your meals. Examples of these are vitamin E sources, such as vegetable oils, nuts, and leafy vegetables, and vitamin C sources, such as citrus fruits, broccoli, and potatoes.
Watch your sugar intake, especially if you have diabetes because you have a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Diabetes reduces your ability to resist bacteria and slows down healing. In turn, advanced gum disease or periodontitis may also cause your blood sugar level to rise, making it harder to control your diabetes.
#3 Don’t Smoke
Smoking weakens your immune system. Tobacco, whether taken in through smoking or chewing, puts you at a higher risk for gum disease. Chemicals in tobacco products also affect saliva flow in the mouth, making it easier for bacteria to stick to your gums.
Compared to a non-smoker, smokers are twice as likely to develop gum disease. Treatments for the condition may also not work well for people who smoke.
#4 Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Schedule check-ups and cleanings every six months. Your dentist can help you prevent gum disease development and detect any oral health problems earlier on.
You should also consult with your dentist if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Red, tender, or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
Gum Care in Plantation, Florida
Sustained efforts to keep your gums healthy ensures a lifetime of good oral health. Dr. Ernie Soto and our team are well-equipped for early detection and prevention of gum problems. Visit our office at Plantation, Florida, and see how we can help. Schedule an appointment by calling us at (954) 368-6264, or you may use our online request form.