For September’s National Gum Care Month, we joined dental practitioners and healthcare advocates across the nation to highlight the importance of healthy gums for a healthy mouth. What do healthy gums look like and why are they important? Here are some essential facts about gum health for your family:
What do healthy gums look like?
Healthy gums are pink in color, but this can vary based on complexion to include tan or light brown. Healthy gums are also firm versus swollen or puffy.
Why are healthy gums important?
While cavity prevention is often the first thing that comes to mind for mouth health, healthy gums are also important. Your gums are a thick tissue that surround and protect your teeth. Healthy gums are not just important to your mouth, but your overall health. Studies show that those with periodontal disease have a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.
What is gingivitis?
If you have gingivitis, your gums are inflamed due to excess plaque that has stayed in the mouth too long and hardened into tartar. Gingivitis results in red and swollen gums that tend to bleed when you brush. The first step to treat gingivitis is usually a professional cleaning.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is a more advanced stage of gingivitis. Signs include those for gingivitis, as well as loose teeth, receding gums, and bad breath. Treatment for periodontal disease varies depending on severity.
How can you prevent gum disease?
It’s simple: Brush and floss your teeth regularly to avoid plaque buildup. Use a soft-bristle brush that’s gentle and massaging to the gums, and brush in a circular motion. For children over the age of six, an alcohol- and sugar-free mouthwash with an anti-cavity substance like sodium fluoride can be an additional tool against hard-to-reach plaque buildup.
Finally, don’t miss your six-month dental checkups. Our dental hygienists thoroughly clean your teeth, and our pediatric dentists will provide fluoride treatments, sealants, and fun preventative home care programs to maintain healthy teeth and gums!