Oral health, for most of us, typically means taking care of our teeth.
Little known fact, however: oral health is much more than that!
Good oral health encompasses everything in your mouth – and that includes healthy gums.
Over the years, our Armadale dentist has seen many cases where a patient has come in with pristine teeth, but whose overall dental health is still poor owing to unhealthy gums.
Healthy gums are hugely important, and can have huge flow-on effects not just on your oral health, but the rest of your health and well-being!
How does gum disease start?
Like many other oral health problems, gum disease starts with bacteria.
Bacteria mixes with saliva, mucus and other particles to form plaque.
Uncontrolled plaque build-up can dramatically raise your risk of infection, which can cause gum swelling, inflammation, and bleeding.
Without regular brushing, untreated gingivitis can cause more severe periodontal diseases that can cause gums to pull away from the teeth.
This forms pockets which can easily become infected.
What’s more, it also exposes more sensitive parts of your gums. Mouth-causing bacteria is therefore able to go deeper, reaching the gum tissue and bones.
Finally, they can also cause teeth become loose and can even result in sudden tooth loss!
As with many oral health problems, it all starts with poor oral hygiene.
If you don’t brush and floss regularly, you won’t be removing this bacteria from your mouth, increasing your risk of gum disease.
The signs of healthy and unhealthy gums
It is easy to ignore gum issues as we often focus on teeth problems. That said however, gum disease is just is important!
As with all things oral health, early detection can save you from further pain and complications.
However, there are also some other symptoms that you should be looking out for…
- Red and swollen gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing, flossing and eating
- Painful gums
- Pale, thin, and white gums
- Pinkish in colour
- Look and feel firm
Why is gum health important?
Taking care of your oral health includes taking care of your gums.
Healthy gums and teeth don’t happen overnight; that’s why prioritising your gum health is as important as taking care of your teeth.
Healthy gums keep your teeth in place
In addition to serving as a sealant around your teeth that protects sensitive tissues underneath, gums also hold your teeth in place.
Without healthy gums, bacteria is able to penetrate deeper and affect your teeth.
Not to mention, gum disease can also cause gums to come loose, which affects how your teeth fit in your mouth and which can result in tooth loss.
If you want to avoid losing your teeth, you’ll want to take good care of your gums!
Lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other health issues
Did you know? Oral health has always been linked to one’s overall health.
This is what we in the profession refer to as the mouth-body connection.
Essentially, almost everything that enters your body comes in via the mouth – food, oxygen, bacteria, you name it.
An unhealthy mouth can lead to bacteria being carried into your body along with oxygen and food.
In particular, bacteria may enter one’s bloodstream through damaged gums and may reach the heart, lungs and other vital organs.
This can result in problems including:
- Cardiovascular conditions
- Respiratory infections
Some of these health complications can be the result of gum disease, and can be life-threatening in some instances.
The best way to avoid this? Taking good care of your teeth and gums!
How to take care of your gums
Brush and floss daily
Proper oral hygiene makes all the difference in taking care of your gums.
Your daily habit of taking care of your gums and teeth prevents nasty bacteria from getting a foothold in your mouth.
Just another reason to get back into the habit!
Tobacco: public enemy #1 when it comes to oral health.
In addition to staining your teeth, tobacco consumption can also affect your gums.
Smokers are especially prone to periodontal disease, and are several times more likely to suffer compared to non-smokers.
Smokers have a lesser chance of fighting any gum disease as gum healing becomes too difficult for them to attain due to their bad habit.
Eat a well-balanced diet
Eating fruits and vegetables, nuts, and legumes are all good for the gums, and can help you maintain healthy gums.
Fish in particular has high omega-3 fatty acids that can help you fight gum disease.
Sugary snacks and beverages should also be cut out as much as possible.
That’s because bacteria has a sweet tooth. By indulging your own sweet tooth, you contribute to the growth of bacteria, which in turn increases the risk of tooth decay and gum diseases.
Visit your Armadale dentist regularly
Visiting a dentist in Armadale regularly helps you detect and treat any signs of gum problems such as pus, swelling, bleeding and painful gums.
Additionally, your local dentist can also advise you on the best dental treatment for you to take care of your teeth and gums.
We can prescribe you with a dental hygiene plan to get you back on track and help you fight back the tide.
And in the event that we detect more advanced gum disease, we can also prescribe treatments and remedies to stop the progression and restore your gms to their previous healthy state.
Contact a dentist in Armadale for your gum problems today
Good oral hygiene is about more than just your teeth – you’ll also need to take care of your gums as well.
Without timely intervention, you may suffer from infection and all the other problems that come with it.
All the more reason to book an appointment with your Armadale dentist – especially if you’re overdue!
Dental Care Group is committed to providing the best dental treatment and service in Armadale.
With over 25 years of experience, Dr Zelman Lew and his team of oral health experts ensure that your gums are healthy, and that you’re protected from complications.