Good oral health is essential for overall physical and mental well-being, yet most people often overlook gum health as part of this equation. Gum disease, or periodontitis, is a serious condition that can lead to tooth and bone loss and other health problems if left untreated. It occurs when plaque builds up at the gum line, causing the gums to become swollen, red, and sore.
Unhealthy gums have also been linked to other systemic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and mouthwash for gum health, can help prevent periodontal disease.
Modern solutions leverage technology and scientific advances to solve gum health issues. Here is a guide to both natural and modern methods for improving gum health.
What Do Healthy Gums Look Like?
Let’s start by understanding what healthy gums look like. Healthy gums are usually pink and firm, not tender or swollen. They fit snugly around each tooth and without gaps or pockets. Healthy gums don’t bleed during brushing or flossing. Most patients don’t realize they are suffering from gum disease until it has progressed to discomfort.
Regular dental visits can help detect gum health issues early and provide prompt treatment to prevent further damage. Your dentist will assess your mouth for signs and symptoms of gum disease and recommend a course of treatment. Common symptoms to look out for include:
- Swollen, red, or tender gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Receding gum line
- Bad breath
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pockets between the gums and teeth
Gum disease starts with gingivitis, a milder form of gum disease characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily. Gingivitis, when left untreated, can progress to periodontal disease and cause extensive damage to the mouth. Proper oral hygiene and prompt treatment are the best routes to keeping gum disease at bay.
How to Improve Gum Health Naturally
Improving gum health doesn’t mean resorting to expensive treatments or products. Numerous natural solutions exist to help prevent gum disease, improve gum health, and maintain a radiant smile.
A Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins helps ensure optimum nutrient intake for healthy gum and mouth. Fruits and vegetables provide an excellent source of essential vitamins like Vit C that help promote healthy gums by improving resistance to infection. Avoid sugary snacks and drinks, as sugar feeds the mouth bacteria that cause plaque build-up and gum disease.
Regular Brushing and Flossing
The cornerstone of dental hygiene is regular brushing and flossing. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush and ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste, along with daily flossing, helps remove plaque build-up and periodontitis.
Advanced electric toothbrushes can be especially beneficial for removing hard-to-reach plaque and reaching deep pockets between the gums and teeth. Put a pea-sized amount of gum health toothpaste on the brush, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line, and gently move in circular motions. Floss once a day, preferably after brushing, to remove food particles and plaque between the teeth and gums.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water helps flush out mouth bacteria, promote saliva production, and balance mouth pH. Drinking plenty of water helps keep the mouth hydrated and prevents bad breath, dryness, and plaque build-up. Aim for eight glasses of water a day.
Mouthwash for Gum Health
Mouthwash contains antibacterial ingredients like alcohol, eucalyptol, menthol, and thymol that help kill mouth bacteria and plaque, preventing gum disease, bad breath, and tooth decay. It penetrates deep into tooth crevices and gum pockets to remove bacteria and debris.
Look for mouthwashes with fluoride to help strengthen the enamel and improve gum health. Use mouthwash for gum health twice daily, allowing 30 seconds of swishing before spitting.
Regular Dental Visits
Regular dental visits are essential for preventing and diagnosing gum disease. Seeing your dentist twice a year allows them to perform professional cleanings, remove plaque, and diagnose any mouth issues.
Your dentist may recommend mouthwash and gum health toothpaste to help prevent further damage, depending on the findings. You can set alerts or reminders on your phone to keep track of appointments and ensure you don’t miss any.
Natural remedies offer an effective, cost-efficient, and low-risk way to improve gum health. Incorporate these habits into your everyday routine, and you’ll be on the path to healthier gums and mouth. Modern solutions are also available if you’re looking for more targeted results.
Modern Solutions to Improve Gum Health
Advancements in modern technology offer powerful, more targeted, and effective solutions to improve gum health. They range from minimally invasive to more sophisticated treatments depending on the severity of gum and mouth issues.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing are deep cleaning procedures performed by a dentist or hygienist to remove plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces, crowns, and below the gum line. Your dentist will recommend them if you have chronic gum disease.
The dentist will first scale the tooth by scraping plaque and tartar from the teeth surface and roots. They will then perform root planing, a procedure that smoothens the roots of the teeth to enable gum tissue to reattach. You will need more than one dental visit to complete the procedure.
Laser treatments are a minimally invasive and painless way to improve gum health. The dental laser applies a high-energy beam of light to the mouth, destroying bacteria and softening gum tissue. It eliminates infection without harming healthy tissue and helps to reshape the gum line. You may need a few sessions depending on the severity of the disease.
Receding gums can be treated using gum grafting, a surgical procedure performed by a periodontist. It involves taking donor tissue and placing it over the exposed root. This protects the tooth root and prevents further gum recession.
The dentist will typically use local anesthesia to numb the mouth. You might experience soreness, discomfort, and swelling after the procedure, but it should subside within a few days.
Modern solutions are recommended in more severe cases of gum disease. Talk to your dentist for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Ask about the risks, benefits, and associated costs of each treatment method before proceeding.
Improve Your Gum Health with the Experts
Gum disease, when left untreated, can lead to severe mouth issues, lower quality of life, and high costs. Following a good mouth care routine and visiting your dentist regularly can improve gum health and prevent mouth issues from occurring and worsening.
Gum specialists, general dentists and dental hygienists at The Dental Team are always available to provide personalized mouth care solutions and treatments. We offer professional mouth care services in a comfortable, relaxed, and stress-free environment.
The Dental Team has locations in Mississauga, Milton, Maple and Brampton ready to serve you. Book an appointment with us today and take the first step to better mouth health.