10 Aug

Three Things You Never Knew about Your Gums

19057258 - human teeth with cavity needing treatment photographed from a rare angle.

In your quest for strong, lasting health, you probably pay careful attention your heart, lungs, joints, eyes, and hopefully your teeth. But what about your gums? It’s impossible to have healthy teeth without healthy gums, so this list will help you familiarize yourself with such a significant part of your body.

Gum Disease is Serious

Like any disease, gum disease definitely isn’t one that you want. It is usually caused by too much plaque in the mouth, but the problems involved with gum disease go far beyond uncomfortable cavities. As plaque builds up under the gum line and hardens into tartar, teeth will eventually decay, weaken, and potentially even fall out. Gum tissue that is destroyed by bacteria begins to recede, and if the missing teeth aren’t replaced, the jawbone with atrophy from a lack of root support. It’s critical to see your dentist as soon as you worry that your gums might be in trouble.

Here’s What to Do If Your Gums Bleed

Your gums shouldn’t bleed when you brush and floss, so if they do, take the blood as a warning sign that you need to make a few changes. First, buy a brush with soft bristles that are less likely to cause irritation as you clean your teeth each day. Also be sure to floss every single day; it can take your gums some time to adjust to the flossing motions and build up a resistance to the floss, so bleeding will continue until flossing becomes a regular part of your routine. In addition, stick to a healthy diet that isn’t too high in sugar and simple carbohydrates, since those are the two food and drink components that create the perfect environment for plaque to take over your mouth.

Brushing Isn’t Enough

Even if your mouth feels minty fresh after brushing, and even if your teeth appear to sparkle white when you smile into the mirror, you do still need to floss. A large portion of the plaque in your mouth is actually stuck in between your teeth, not on the front and back. Since brushing can only tackle tooth surfaces, the areas where your teeth connect rely on floss to get clean. If you don’t like to floss traditionally, try buying flossing sticks that take all margin of error out of your routine.

Dr. Obrochta