As kids, we’re all taught to brush our teeth regularly to keep them healthy. But what about our gums?
The gum is the soft tissue surrounding the neck of teeth which also covers the jawbone. By covering the dental roots, it protects them against microbes. A healthy gum is pink and firm, it attaches around the neck of the teeth and does not bleed when brushing or flossing.
Tips for keeping your gums healthy:
- Using a soft-bristled brush, gently brush your gums each time you brush your teeth (with a vertical motion from the gum to the tooth).
- Carefully clean molars and pre-molars (because these teeth are located in the rear portion of the dental arch, they are often neglected, making them more susceptible to plaque buildup).
- Use dental floss every day to get rid of plaque between your teeth. Make sure the floss reaches just beneath the gumline (be gentle to avoid cutting the gum tissue).
- Adopt healthy eating habits, focusing on fruits and vegetables and leaving out acidic and over-sweet foods.
- Avoid tobacco.
Many patients stop using dental floss because of bleeding or pain. However, this is not the solution, as the situation may worsen rather than improve. Bleeding is caused by bacteria found in plaque, causing swelling and bone loss. This is why regular flossing is so important. If pain or bleeding persists after a month, you should go see a dental professional.
In fact, oral health treatments (teeth cleaning) and regular exams are really important to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy. When left untreated, gum disease can affect the bone that keeps your teeth in place. To avoid complications and, ultimately, the extraction of a tooth, it is best to adopt a preventive approach and seek treatment before problems become worse.