Importance of healthy gums, How to keep gums healthy, Gums and your health, Why your gums are so important to your health

Taking good care of your gums is just as important as taking care of your teeth. Good dental and oral hygiene can help prevent tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease and it is the best way to keep your teeth healthy as you grow older.

Importance Of Oral Hygiene

Research is always ongoing on the subject of how brushing and flossing can help prevent an array of dental disorders. Besides keeping dental problems at bay, a healthy mouth can also help you prevent some serious health problems, with the risks of suffering from stroke, heart attack, preterm labour and diabetes all increasing with an unhealthy mouth.

For an examination which can help you spot the early signs of gum disease and to further understand how important good oral hygiene can be in helping you stay healthy, get in touch with London dentists.

Importance Of Healthy Gums

Your gums are where your teeth live. Just like we humans can only be protected when we are housed in a safe environment with a strong foundation, our teeth will only be in good shape if our gums are strong and free from danger. If dental plaque and bacteria from tartar spread deep into your gums, it may lead to an infection taking root in your gum tissue which can have some serious consequences.

Infections increase the risks of tooth decay, bone loss and may even result in loss of teeth. Periodontal diseases such as advanced gingivitis have actually been shown to raise the risks of other diseases such as dementia, heart disease and diabetes. If you are pregnant and suffering from gum disease, the effects can even be felt by your unborn child who has a higher chance of a premature birth which itself can have serious health implications.

How To Know If Your Gums Are Not In Good Shape

To know whether you need to take better care of your gums, you must be able to spot the warning signs that something is wrong. For example, if chewing certain foods causes pain due to sensitive teeth, there may be an underlying problem relating to your gums at work.

Another warning sign is bleeding of your gums when you chew on hard food, when your dentist cleans them or when you brush your teeth. Inflamed, bleeding and sensitive gums are indications of gingivitis in its early stage. Failure to treat your gums in time can result in periodontitis which can permanently affect your jawbone, ligaments and gum tissue.

Healthy gums should be firm to the touch and pink in colour.

Relation Between Gums And Lifestyle Habits

The health of your gums can be greatly affected by some lifestyle factors. Smoking, chewing tobacco and being overly stressed must be avoided if you want your gums to be healthy. Receiving inadequate nutrition through poor diet is another cause of unhealthy gums, so eating a balanced diet that includes all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients vital for optimum health is vitally important in avoiding gum disease.

Plaque formation begins immediately after we brush our teeth which makes it necessary to remove it on a regular basis. Failure to do so results in calcification of plaque which causes it to spread below the gum line. In order to get rid of this invader, our immune system kicks in and this is the reason why your gums may swell and bleed. Having swollen, bleeding gums is therefore a sign that you have a problem that needs to be dealt with.

Plaque And The Damage That It Can Cause

Tooth loss is often the result of a long term infection of the gums. But losing a tooth is not the worst thing that can happen. Recent studies have revealed that there may be a link between gum infections and cardiovascular disease, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm birth. Whether these infections cause these conditions alone is something that is being further researched at present. But there is a link and that alone is enough to mean we should be vigilant.

1. Poorly controlled diabetes

A person who has been diagnosed with diabetes is already vulnerable to gum diseases. Chronic diseases of the gum can also make it difficult for the patient to control their diabetes. Control over blood sugar will be disrupted as the infection may cause insulin resistance.

2. Cardiovascular disease

When a person has gingivitis, they suffer from oral inflammation caused by bacteria and this can also lead to blood clots and clogged arteries. Research indicates that a bacterial build-up in the mouth may result in inflammation of arteries along with several other parts of the body.

The possibility of a stroke or a heart attack is greatly increased as inflammation leads to development of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries. The risk of developing cardiovascular diseases increases as the severity of the infection increases. Tooth loss and gum disease are also known to add plaque to the carotid artery.

3. Preterm birth

The risk of giving birth to a baby with low birth weight and preterm delivery has been found to increase if the pregnant mother has severe gum disease.

What Are The Worst Foods For Gums?

Acidic foods like coffee and citrus, sugars from carbohydrates and sweets, and sticky or hard foods can be particularly harmful for your gums. However, for a person who doesn’t maintain proper oral hygiene, any food can be potentially dangerous.

How To Keep Your Gums Healthy

In order to protect yourself from gum diseases, a daily habit of good oral hygiene needs to become routine. It is important to brush at least twice a day and also to floss to avoid a build up of plaque.

Flossing and brushing combined helps to remove any food debris and plaque which remain below the gum line. After flossing your teeth, you should rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash which washes away the debris and prevents formation of plaque and bacteria.

Regular visits to your dentist are also crucially important in maintaining good oral hygiene. In addition, your dentist may ask you to undergo an X-ray once every year or two which may be an additional cost, but it is a small price to pay for healthy gums and teeth.