Understanding the Importance of Maintaining Healthy Gums
Most people understand the importance of oral health. However, some people focus on their teeth and underestimate the significance of healthy gums. Your gums are essential for overall oral health because they help maintain your facial structure. They hold your teeth in place, so when they’re neglected, it makes you vulnerable to tooth loss and decay.
The Importance of Oral Hygiene and Healthy Gums
Oral care is also important for body health and wellness. Human mouths have a variety of balanced bacteria. When they work together, your gums are protected and have a better chance of remaining healthy. When something interferes with oral bacteria’s balance, it makes it easier for you to develop periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease causes inflammation, which actually encourages the breakdown of your enamel. This gum disease triggers your immune system to send white blood cells to your gums. The white blood cells not only get rid of bacteria, they also harm healthy gum tissue.
In addition to disease, unhealthy gums raise the probability of you losing your teeth. You need your teeth to eat and speak properly. Over time, the spaces left by missing teeth create a series of problems. For one, it makes chewing difficult. If you are unable to fully break down your food, you end up swallowing large chunks. This makes it easier to choke and impairs digestion.
Gaps and damaged teeth also increase your chances of having bad breath, regardless of how well you brush your teeth. Improperly cleaning your gums allows lingering food and bacteria to cause bad breath. When left untreated, plaque builds up, causing even further decay and severe halitosis.
How a Poor Oral Routine Impacts Your Body
When left untreated, periodontal bacteria can spread throughout the body. If you suffer from periodontal disease, you’re at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes. The inflammation associated with these illnesses may also make their sufferers more likely to develop periodontal disease.
How to Properly Maintain Healthy Gums
- Stay on top of your oral hygiene
The key to maintaining healthy gums is proper oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is a great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Also, make sure you floss to get rid of lingering food and plaque that otherwise harms your gums.
If you struggle with getting in between your teeth, invest in an interdental device to clean hard-to-reach areas.
- Make healthier food choices
In addition to staying on top of your oral routine, you have to watch what you eat. Your diet plays a large role in your overall oral health. For instance, when you consume sweets like sour candies, you expose yourself to both sugar and various types of acids. Bacteria feed on sugar and cause erosion. Acids found in candy also erode teeth and lead to poor gum health.
Carbonated beverages, bread, chips, and even citrus fruits break down and linger in your mouth. If these foods have enough time to dissolve, they create plaque, which can be hard to remove once it hardens.
To avoid plaque buildup and damaged gums, you must eat healthier, saliva-producing foods. Dairy products are great for overall oral health because they have a high percentage of calcium, which improves bone density. Dairy products like cheese and milk also increase saliva production. Saliva helps balance the amount of acid in your mouth and slow the erosion process.
Fiber-rich foods like leafy green vegetables and crisp fruits are great for producing saliva. They also have vitamins and antioxidants that protect the gums from cell damage and a number of oral infections. The texture of these produce items also acts as a gentle exfoliator and removes buildup on your teeth.
Chewing apples is a great way to lightly buff away leftover food when you’re unable to brush your teeth. Fruit also contains vitamin C, which helps with collagen synthesis. Collagen synthesis helps build and maintain gum health.
You also need to consume plenty of water. Water also helps eliminate bacteria and leftover food particles when you’re unable to brush your teeth. Even swishing water in between your teeth after a meal keeps acid from lingering on your gums.
- Stop smoking
When you smoke cigarettes, you harm your gums in more ways than one. For one, you weaken the tissues around your teeth, which lets bacteria get comfortable and cause decay. Smoking also interferes with your mouth’s blood circulation. Smoking interrupts blood flow and makes you more vulnerable to gum infection. People who smoke half a pack of cigarettes daily are six times as likely to develop periodontal disease than non-smokers.
Preventive Dental Care
In addition to making healthier lifestyle choices, you must take advantage of professional help. Using preventive dental care eliminates tartar, which is nearly impossible to remove without help from a professional. Going to the dentist also helps you improve your oral care routine for cleaning in between visits.
Sometimes, it’s hard for you to self-diagnose dental problems. If your dentist notices any issues like gum disease or sensitivity, you have a better chance of finding a solution.
Although your gums don’t get as much praise as your teeth, they’re just as important. Your gums help maintain the structure of your face, so you want to keep them healthy and strong. Keeping your gums healthy also minimizes your chances of developing cardiovascular and respiratory conditions.
Whether your gums are already healthy or you have problem areas, you have to make healthy lifestyle choices. Make sure you brush and floss at least twice everyday. You should also eat a well-balanced diet with leafy greens, dairy, and crisp fruits. Also, make sure you only enjoy sweets in moderation to prevent acidic decay.
Regularly visit your dentist for cleaning and maintenance. By staying on top of your oral health, you also make it easier to maintain gum health.