When it comes to keeping a good oral hygiene it’s not just about your teeth. No matter how white and straight your teeth are, you won’t truly have a healthy mouth unless you keep your gums healthy too.
Many people forget about this, mainly because gum diseases don’t hurt much, sometimes not at all, but also because gums are less visible and a slight irritation of our gums won’t prevent us from going about our day regularly, eat, drink, smile, etc. Which only makes gum diseases more dangerous as people usually don’t do much about them at an early stage.
Stages of gum deterioration
It is important to know how the early stages of a gum disease looks like so that you can self-diagnose it early on and do something about it yourself or seek professional help from your doctor.
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis is the name given to the irritation, inflammation and redness of your gums. Healthy gums have a pale pink color and do not have volume. Gums with gingivitis can turn reddish, gain volume and even bleed during your regular brushing. Gingivitis is not a serious condition, we can all suffer from it from time to time, and as long as we do something about it early on it is perfectly fine.
If gingivitis isn’t properly treated though, it can progressively turn into a mild case of peritonitis which isn’t self-treatable anymore and will require the supervision of a professional dentist and probably more than one visit to their office.
If an early stage of peritonitis isn’t properly treated it can develop to an advance peritonitis which can be very hard to treat and have consequences as severe as teeth loss.
How to keep your gums healthy
So what should you be doing in order to keep your gums healthy and avoid any of the above in the first place?
Well it’s quite simple, the key is keeping a good oral hygiene.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, ideally after each meal. Make sure you are brushing your teeth properly using the right technique. Getting an electric toothbrush can also be a great way to improve your general oral hygiene as the benefits of electric toothbrushes vs. manual ones have been repeatedly proven and are recommended by most dentists.
Floss your teeth at least once a day. Now this can be a double edge sword. Flossing your teeth is essential to remove food particles that get stuck in between your teeth, but if your teeth are well aligned and close together you need to be careful or you might push your gums up when trying to fit the dental floss in between your teeth. If you are worried you might not be flossing properly or you just find it too hard to fit the dental floss in between your teeth without hitting your gums, then you should consider getting a water or air floss device such as the Philips Sonicare Airfloss Pro which will allow you to get rid of the particles in between your teeth using a combination or pressured air and water that won’t harm your gums in any way.
Choosing your tooth paste carefully can also help you keep your gums healthy. There are dozens of tooth pasted at any given pharmacy, each of which claims to be the best we could choose by promising us whiter, stronger, cavity free teeth. Most of that is just pure marketing, however fluoride has been medically proven to reduce the risk of gum disease and strengthen the enamel layer of your teeth. So make sure you pick up a tooth paste that contains fluoride next time you shop for toothpaste, other than that the brand, color and flavors are up to you!
Last but not least, the same general rules that apply to keeping a good oral hygiene will help you keep your gums healthy. Quit smoking, go easy on aggressive foods and drinks such as coffee or wine and visit your dentist regularly to make sure everything is in order.
Keeping your gums healthy has a lot to do with keeping a good oral hygiene. However, it is important to stay alert and always look for early signs of gingivitis in order to prevent what otherwise is a very mild oral condition into becoming a more severe peritonitis case.
Equipping yourself with the right tools for the job will definitely help you achieve this easier. Switch to an electric toothbrush if you don’t use one already. Floss daily with regular floss or get a water or air floss device if you are worried you might be hurting your gums with the regular one. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride and also rinse your mouth every other day with an antiseptic mouthwash to prevent plaque and bacteria from building up in your mouth.
Remember, keeping your gums healthy is just as important as keeping your teeth healthy, after all your gums are the foundations of your teeth, and we all know healthy and strong foundations are the key to building a great smile on top of them!