Having healthy gums is more than just about maintaining a Hollywood smile. Your gums act as a barrier to help keep bacteria from penetrating your teeth. If you are interested in learning more about your gum health, keep on reading.
Gum Health: Why is it Important?
In order to have healthy teeth, you must have gums that are in good health as well. Not only do your gums keep your teeth in their place, but they act as a protective barrier against bacteria. Otherwise, plaque, food particles, etc. would make their way underneath and cause tooth decay. All of this bacteria can eventually make its way into your body and cause heart disease and other health issues.
Signs of Unhealthy Gums
There are many signs that can indicate your gums are unhealthy. While some of these signs might be more obvious than others, here are a few you should consider:
- Bleeding: If your gums bleed while you are brushing or merely eating, it could be due to a buildup of bacteria.
- Bad breath: While bad breath could be caused by certain foods, constant mouth odor can be an early sign of gum disease.
- Sore gums: Inflammation is your body’s way of letting you know something is wrong. Therefore, if your gums are sore, they might be infected.
How to Strengthen Gums
Maintaining healthy gums is not about doing one particular thing and getting instant results. Good oral health is achieved by implementing a number of habits for a period of time. In order to get stronger gums, here are some things you should get in the habit of doing:
- Brush properly: You should brush at least twice a day, using short strokes. Make sure to turn the brush vertically as well, and clean every tooth thoroughly.
- Use the correct toothpaste: Make sure whatever toothpaste you choose contains fluoride and is approved by the American Dental Association.
- Floss every night: Flossing is important in that it removes plaque and debris that your toothbrush cannot get.
- Use mouthwash: Mouthwash helps to prevent a buildup of plaque while helping your mouth stay nice and fresh.
- See the dentist regularly: Regular dental visits help you catch any issues early, while a professional cleaning helps get rid of tartar.
- Don’t smoke: Not only can smoking increase your chances of gum disease, but it can also cause tooth decay.
- Rinse properly: A good way to stay on top of your oral hygiene in between brushes is to rinse with water after every meal.
Food for Healthy Gums
Not only do the types of foods you eat affect you on the inside, but your diet impacts your oral health as well. Because the mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, the foods you eat can either increase or decrease the amount of germs in your mouth. Bacteria that is allowed to build up will eventually turn into plaque, which can open up a world of problems for your overall health. If you want to ensure that your tooth enamel stays intact and your teeth remain strong, here are some of the best foods to eat:
- Apples: Firm fruits such as apples are great for oral health as they help clean your teeth while you eat. Apples, especially, have a fibrous texture that helps to remove plaque from between your teeth, and stimulate your gums.
- Cheese: Not only is cheese a tasty snack, but it helps to increase saliva. When your mouth produces saliva, it helps to rinse away food particles.
- Whole grains: One of the great things about grains is that they have very little sugar which works well in the prevention of gum disease. This is because people whose blood sugar is high, have an increased risk of periodontal disease. Whole grains help to regulate blood sugar which makes them a great meal choice for healthy gums.
- Water: Water is one of the best things you can consume in general in that it has no sugar or fat, and helps to cleanse your body outside and within. Like saliva, water can rid your mouth of bacteria, sugar and food particles, so they don’t get trapped in your gums. Having water with your meals, especially after having a sugary dessert or drink, can help you improve your oral health.
- Leafy greens: Just like apples, leafy greens provide the much-needed fiber and nutrients that your body and mouth need. Because leafy greens such as spinach and kale are high in calcium, eating regular helpings can improve your gums’ and teeth.
How to Keep Gums Healthy
The best way to keep your gums healthy is by maintaining good oral hygiene through the proper practices. From the things you eat to the way that you brush, floss, etc., they all play their part in contributing to your gum’s health. Preventative care is the best treatment of all; therefore, you want to make good oral hygiene a part of your daily routine.
Improve Gum Health With Regular Dental Visits
If you are having issues with your gums, seeing your dentist regularly can help you get your oral health back on track. Make sure you are following your dentist’s recommendations and being disciplined when it comes to your oral routine.
Try to think of your oral health as you would think about your grooming habits. If you know you wouldn’t walk out the door without combing your hair, then you shouldn’t go to bed without brushing and flossing. By making your oral hygiene a top priority with regular dental visits and good practices, your future self will be quite pleased with you.