National Gum Care Month
September is National Gum Care Month and Elevate Dental is breaking down what you need to know about your gums and how to care for them!
What are Gums?
Gums are the tissues (usually the pink stuff) that surround and protect your teeth. Taking care of your gums is not only important to protect your beautiful smile, but also because it can have an effect on your general health. Did you know that gums can be different colors and may even have various pigmentation on them? Your gums are as unique as your smile!
What is Good Gum Care?
1. Brush twice a day and floss every day!
It’s not surprising to hear that this is the first tip, but building this habit can have a huge impact on your oral health. If you only brush your teeth, you are missing around 35% of your tooth structure. That’s like taking a shower and not washing your arms!
Standard brushing alone can’t reach tiny food particles that end up between your teeth or just under the gum line. So please floss or use a water pik to remove the yucky bacteria and food that gets stuck between the teeth and gums. This bacteria and decomposing food may cause stinky breath and gum disease. Not only that, research shows a connection between oral bacteria and other systemic diseases – such as cardiovascular health.
2. Visit the dentist routinely
Visiting the dentist for regular appointments at least twice a year is an important part of your dental care routine. At Elevate Dental, we can remove plaque that has built up on your teeth over time that standard brushing and flossing can’t. As part of our gentle routine cleanings, we examine your gum health by checking the pocket depth around your mouth and your x-rays for other signs of gum disease that might not be visible or noticeable at the surface. In addition, as part of your dental visit, we always check your gums to make sure that there are no weird lumps, bumps, or major color changes.
What is Gum Disease and How Do I Know if I Have It?
Gum disease, also known as gingivitis or periodontitis, is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It’s important to check your gums for changes because gum disease doesn’t always present itself as pain early on. Gum disease is a treatable and preventable disease. So it’s important to get your gums checked out regularly. If left untreated, the condition will get worse and in some cases, gum disease may cause your teeth to become loose, your breath to become smelly, and affect your overall self-confidence.
Here are some symptoms to look out for:
- Red, puffy or swollen gums
- Pain or tenderness at the gum line during brushing
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Receding gums or gaps at the gum line where it has separated from your tooth
Come see us today for your comprehensive exam and get your gums checked out. Happy gums and happy teeth mean happy smiles for years to come!