Top Pro Tips on How to Improve Gum Health

Your gums support your teeth and are the foundation for the teeth’s roots. They also act as a barrier against bacteria that can get into the bloodstream to threaten your overall health. Without healthy gums, your dental and physical health is at risk.

Gum disease is a significant public health problem in the United States. About 20% of adults have the disease and the numbers are even higher for children, with 60% of children ages 5-11 showing signs of gum disease.

In this article, we will talk about the dangers of gum disease, the warning signs of gum disease, and how to improve and protect your gum health.

Dangers of Gum Disease

Gum disease, also called gingivitis or periodontal disease, is often painless so it goes untreated in the early stages. This is one reason your twice-yearly dental exams and cleaning are so important. If left undetected, the gums become infected and begin to pull away from the teeth and the teeth can become loose.

This can then lead to bite and alignment problems as well as even tooth loss. Gum issues also cause bad breath (halitosis), which can affect social and work relationships.

Gum disease is linked to many systemic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and infertility, to name a few. There seems to also be a link between gum disease and a higher mortality rate from COVID-19.

Patients with gum disease were 10 times as likely to die of COVID-19 than patients with healthy gums. The bacteria and microbes associated with gum disease damage the immune system, which makes it harder for the body to fight off respiratory diseases like COVID-19.

Due to these dangers, improving your gums is essential. Read on for the warning signs to watch out for. 

Early Warning Signs of Gum Disease

There are some red flags to be aware of when it comes to your gum health. Here are the warning signs of periodontal disease to keep an eye out for:

  • Bad breath 
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Gums pulled away from your teeth
  • A change in how the teeth fit together when you bite down

Given these symptoms and the danger of gum disease, it’s important to know how to keep gums your gums as healthy as possible.

How To Improve Gum Health and Keep Them Healthy

There are some easy things you can do at home and within your daily life to improve gum health and help keep your gums in the best shape possible. Follow these tips for healthy gums:

Control Sugar in Your Diet

This can be one of the most effective ways to keep your gums safe. Sugar and tooth decay are directly connected, especially if you aren’t brushing and flossing properly. 

Plaque forms on the teeth and eats the tooth enamel away. Cavities then form and eventually, the gums become infected. Make it a habit to check food labels closely for sugar content. Many foods that you think are healthy actually contain a lot of sugar. Limiting the amount of sugar you eat or drink every day will help protect your teeth and your gums.

Stop Smoking

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking weakens the immune system and makes you more susceptible to gum disease. The use of other tobacco products can also increase a person’s risk. Stop smoking to reduce the risk of developing gum disease.

Keep Up With Dental Exams and Cleanings Every 6 Months

Your dental hygienist can remove plaque from your teeth and your dentist can identify problems with your gums early. Don’t skip these visits to your dentist. Discuss it with them if you normally experience dental treatment anxiety. The dental team can assist by using techniques to make you more comfortable.

Maintain a Solid Oral Health Routine

When it comes to how to keep gums healthy, maintaining a good oral health routine plays a huge role. The American Dental Association recommends the following routine:

Brush Teeth Twice Daily

Brushing your teeth twice daily is the foundation of any good oral health routine. The American Dental Association supports this practice and also suggests you use fluoride toothpaste when you brush. Brush for two minutes each time and make sure to cover all areas of the teeth equally.

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally and has many oral health benefits. This is why many towns and cities add fluoride to their water supplies, so your instance of cavities will be low. Use a fluoride toothpaste recommended by your dentist.

Floss Teeth Once a Day

Daily flossing between the teeth is essential to keep your gums healthy. It removes the plaque from those areas where the toothbrush doesn’t reach, especially down below the gum line.

Flossing is difficult when teeth are crowded or crooked. Take more time in those areas, making sure to thoroughly run the floss along the surface of the teeth and down to the gum line.

Use Mouthwash Once a Day

You will strengthen the enamel on your teeth by rinsing with a mouthwash once a day. It will also wash away loose plaque and food left on the teeth after eating. Bacteria that cause gingivitis and bad breath will be eliminated too. Mouthwash can also be used as a substitute for brushing when necessary. Some also whiten your teeth as well.

Eat Gum-Friendly Foods

Focusing on these foods will help strengthen your immunity and help keep your gums healthy:

  • High-fiber fruits and vegetables, which help clean bacteria out of the mouth.
  • Green and black teas, which help reduce bacteria.
  • Dairy products, such as cheese, milk, and yogurt, which help increase saliva production.
  • Foods that contain fluoride, which includes water and some seafood and poultry products.
  • Sugar-free gum, which helps increase saliva production as you chew it.
  • Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, salmon, nuts, and seeds.

With Some Proactive Effort, You Can Have Healthy Gums!

Gum disease affects many people of all ages, and many people suffer from it without knowing it. Regular dental exams and cleanings can help prevent gum problems, but there are some warning signs everyone should be aware of. Prevention begins with a solid daily routine that will protect your gums from decay and the bone loss that can follow. This includes brushing and flossing, using mouthwash, and controlling sugar intake.

Discover the secret to perfect gums with our expert team here at Strafford Dental Associates. If you are battling some early signs of gum disease or even more advanced stages, we can help reverse its course with expert periodontal treatments. Your journey to unbeatable gum health starts here. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!