Caring for your gums

Although commonly overlooked, healthy gums are crucial to a healthy smile. In addition to framing your teeth, your gums also play the important role of covering your dental roots and supporting the tooth socket. Unfortunately, aggressive brushing or gingivitis can cause your gum tissue to erode, leaving you with sensitive, loose, or even missing teeth.

Tips For Keeping Your Gums Healthy

Keeping your gums healthy and strong should be a primary focus when you think about your overall oral health. Here are some great tips for keeping your gums healthy, comfortable, and attractive:

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene

    If tartar and bacteria are allowed to accumulate along your gum line, it can inflame your gum tissue and lead to deep pockets of infected tissue. This condition is the precursor to gum disease and periodontal disease, which can ultimately lead to widespread infections and tooth loss. To prevent these issues from forming in the first place, focus on your oral hygiene regimen. Brush gently twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and never forget to floss to remove any debris that might be left behind from your last meal.

  • Don’t Skip Dental Checkups

    The early stages of gingivitis are painless, which is why it is so important to meet with Dr. Scharf regularly. During dental checkups, your teeth will be carefully x-rayed and examined by Dr. Scharf and his hygienist to look for any issues with your gum tissue or teeth. If problems are discovered early, they can be treated in the least-invasive way possible, potentially preserving gum tissue, time, and money. Dr. Scharf will also check the depth of the gingival pockets around your teeth to check for lurking gum disease.

  • Exercise and Eat Right

    When you exercise, you tone more than just your waistline. Regular exercise can help you to improve the circulation to your entire body, which can improve the health of your gums. Focus on eating a diet filled with lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and plenty of water. Eating right and hydrating your body can help to fend off harmful gum infections.

  • Use Scissors—Not Your Teeth

    Soft tissue injuries to your gums can introduce food particles and bacteria deep into your mouth, and compromise the structural integrity of your smile. To avoid injuries, never use your teeth to pry open containers or to open packages. Instead, carry a multi-tool or a small pair of children’s scissors, so that you can quickly and easily open packages.

  • Pay Attention To Pressure

    Brushing with too much pressure can erode away your gum tissue, leaving you with receded gums and sensitive teeth. Since the layer of enamel is thinner on your dental roots than it is on your natural dental crowns, root exposure can lead to extreme dental sensitivity. As you brush, focus on not brushing aggressively. Pay attention to the amount of pressure you are applying, and try to ease off if you find yourself gripping your toothbrush too hard or working too quickly. If you have a hard time controlling your brushing habits on your own, consider investing in a powered toothbrush with a pressure sensor. Some models have alarms or lights that signal excessive pressure, so that you know when to back off.

  • Understand The Signs of Gum Disease

    Last but not least, know the signs and symptoms of gum disease so that you can detect trouble early. If you notice that your gums are tender, reddened, or tend to bleed easily, make an appointment to visit with Dr. Scharf right away. Gum disease can also give patients chronically bad breath, loose teeth, or even cause the teeth to fall out altogether. If gum disease is caught early enough, non-surgical options, such as scaling, planing, or antibiotic treatments might be enough to ward off advanced periodontitis.

If you have noticed anything strange about your gums, or simply need to schedule a regular checkup, contact us today!

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