Healthy gums are critical to a healthy smile. In order to maintain a healthy smile, your gums need just as much maintenance and attention as your teeth. A lack of gum care doesn’t only affect the physical appearance of your smile, but it also negatively impacts your oral-health and general health. Poor gum care can lead to:
- Gum disease
- Decline in overall physical health
- Decline in mental health and wellbeing
Gums are the first line of defense for your whole well-being so they’re important to take care of. If you want to keep smiling, it’s vital you maintain healthy gums. Read on to discover the impact of unhealthy gums and gum disease on your smile, and what you can do to look after them.
What is Gum Disease?
If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious form of periodontal disease called periodontitis. This is where bacteria are allowed to accumulate and get under the gums, spreading further and infecting the bones and tissue of your teeth and jaw.
The structures that hold the tooth firmly into the gum become soft and damaged. The tooth then either falls out or must be removed.
If you want to prevent gum disease, follow these oral-hygiene tips:
Brush your teeth
Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time. This will prevent the buildup of plaque. Brush in a circular motion. If you can afford it, use an electric toothbrush. A regular brush used correctly will work just fine too. Be gentle when you brush, especially around the gum line.
Floss everyday to remove food in areas where plaque might build up where your brush can’t reach. Make sure you floss up and around the gumline to remove all food stuck in the nooks and crannies.
You are What You Eat (and Drink)
Eating calcium will maintain strong bones and teeth. Foods like milk and cheese can strengthen the bones that attach your teeth to your jaw. Increase these foods in your diet to support your teeth and maintain a healthy smile.
Sugar binds with bacteria in your mouth to produce an acid which attacks your teeth. Reduce sugar intake and wash down sugary items with water.
A Healthy Body Creates a Healthy Smile
Both gingivitis and periodontitis negatively affect the appearance of your smile and your oral health, but periodontitis can also lead to a reduction in your overall health as your immune system is working harder to fight the disease and damage occurring in your body.
Studies have shown that advanced periodontitis can lead to:
- Chronic respiratory disease
- Pregnancy complications
- Various forms of cancer
One study showed that people with poor overall oral health had a 75% higher risk of contracting liver cancer than those who took care of their teeth and gums.
Another study showed that people with poor oral health had a 6% increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Look after your gums to help maintain a healthy body and a smile on your face.
Happiness and Wellbeing
People who are healthy are generally happy! When you take care of yourself and remain healthy, a feeling of fulfillment and self-love grows. Your enjoyment of life increases, and you find yourself smiling!
Self-care for the body and the mind can start with looking after your body’s first line of defense; your gums.
A lack of oral hygiene can cause you to develop gum disease. This can turn into a serious issue which affects the health of your gums, teeth, body, and mind.
To maintain a great looking smile, look after your gums by brushing your teeth, flossing, and avoiding sugary food and drinks.
If you are concerned about your gum health and would like to make an appointment with a periodontitis dentist, contact us on 713-457-6351 or fill out our online form.