Things You Need to Know About Keeping Your Gums Healthy
Keeping healthy gums is an important part of keeping healthy teeth. They go hand in hand. Even more important than that, though, is that by maintaining healthy gums you will also be able to enjoy better overall health – and you may even live longer.
The Role of Your Gums
Your gums play an important part in protecting your teeth. They help keep bacteria away from the roots of your teeth, and also from the bone that supports your teeth. Your gums also help keep your teeth in place.
When you have receding gums as a result of gum disease, it will cause the roots of your teeth to be exposed. Bacteria will be able to attack the roots of your teeth and cavities will form.
Gum Disease Causes
The primary cause of gum disease is a lack of the proper care of your teeth. This means that you are not brushing your teeth carefully twice a day and flossing before you go to bed. In most people, these two steps are enough to control and even eliminate mild gum disease, but be sure to brush your tongue, too.
Some people may have additional factors that will make it harder to control or prevent gum disease. People who smoke, have a family history of it, have a weak immune system, or are poor, have the greatest risk of developing gum disease. The CDC reveals that 46 percent of adults over 30 have gum disease, and nine percent have advanced periodontal disease.
Oral Bacteria and Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that are naturally in your mouth. When you have healthy teeth and gums, the more than 500 types of bacteria in your mouth are balanced – the good bacteria is keeping the bad bacteria under control.
The bad bacteria multiply when you eat products with sugar in them. They convert the sugar into an acid that attacks the enamel on your teeth, and will also lead to inflammation of your gums – gum disease.
While you usually can eliminate gum disease rather easily in the early stages, it will be nearly impossible without dental treatment if it becomes periodontitis. At that time, the bacteria is destroying your gums, the structures that help support your teeth, and your jawbone. If allowed to continue unchecked, your teeth will start to become loose and may even fall out.
Eating Healthy Helps Keep Healthy Gums
When you do not eat a healthy diet, you are not providing your immune system with the vitamins and minerals your gums need to fight off bad bacteria. By eating healthy foods and drinks, you give your immune system the materials it needs to be able to fight off infections, gum disease, and even oral cancer.
Foods with vitamin C are especially important, says Prevention. People who get less than 60 mg per day are more likely to develop gum disease. You also need calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin D.
It is also important to eliminate certain foods from your diet – at least most of the time. Sodas contain a lot of sugar – nine teaspoons full in Cokes and some other sodas. Some fruit juices are not much better. Cutting out much of the sweets you eat or drink every day will help to eliminate much of the acid in your mouth that helps to promote cavities and gum disease. Drink water instead.
Saliva also helps to control the bacteria involved in gum disease. Some common drinks are diuretic, which means it helps you eliminate water. These primary drinks – coffee, tea, alcohol, etc., help to dry up your saliva, which enables the bacteria to produce more acid. Keeping hydrated helps you to have more saliva.
Tobacco in any form, including e-cigs which often contain nicotine – is not good for your gums. The many chemicals in tobacco are carcinogenic and they also weaken your immune system in your mouth and gums. This actually helps to promote gum disease.
Why Healthy Gums Matter
Recent research has found that the bacterium that causes gum disease also helps cause more than 50 serious diseases. The diseases include coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, COPD, infertility, rheumatoid arthritis, several types of cancer, and more.
Mouthwash can help keep your gums healthy by reducing the amount of plaque on your teeth and gums. According to Healthline, a good antimicrobial mouthwash will help reduce the acid in your mouth, will help eliminate plaque from areas that are difficult to reach, and can help to remineralize your teeth.
See a Dentist Regularly
A dentist can help spot the early signs of gum disease and can help you stop its progression. Regular dental checkups can also enable treatment to be given to other dental problems and help you keep a healthy mouth and gums.
Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board-certified Periodontist, can help you maintain healthy gums. If you already have problems with gum disease, he can also treat you for it and perform any other dental work needed. He has offices in the Carrollton, TX or Grapevine, TX areas. You can set up an appointment for a consultation at (817) 756-8578.