Why are healthy gums important for you? Aside from cosmetic and sensitivity issues, gums have many health effects on your teeth and your body. So it’s important to keep them in good shape, both figuratively and literally.
Gums help protect your teeth, particularly the roots and bones surrounding them. It provides a protective layer, bound to the teeth but also easily lubricated for the passage of food. It protects the sensitive root structure of your teeth from the effects of a barrage of bacteria in the mouth. When gums are healthy, they are supple but firm and do not bleed with brushing, flossing, or dental exams.
But what happens when they are unhealthy? They may look red, swollen, or be tender. You may have a bad taste in your mouth or persistent bad breath. Your gums might bleed when you floss or when your dentist performs a periodontal exam. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss, but it can also affect your overall health – with infection in the mouth being linked to heart disease and a variety of other systemic issues. But what is periodontal disease, and how do you prevent it to maintain healthy gums?
The American Dental Assocation defines periodontal disease as:
an inflammation of the gums that, if severe, can lead to the loss of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. It is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms constantly on teeth.1
The best way to prevent tooth and bone loss and preserve healthy gums is by brushing and flossing at least twice daily. Regular flossing is only as effective as your technique, so take some time in your next hygiene appointment and have one of our friendly hygienists demonstrate good technique. Your healthy gums depend on you!