Taking time to properly brush your teeth each day will get you one step closer towards a brighter, healthier grin. But did you know that you can also improve your gum health in less than 5 minutes a day? Most patients don’t realize that their gums play such a vital role in their mouth, and not taking care of your gums can quickly affect the appearance of your entire smile.
What Are Your Gums Trying to Tell You?
Taking excellent care of your gums is a critical part of maintaining your dental health. If your gums are suffering, it is typically easy to see. Noticing any of these red flags below should prompt you to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.
Bleeding gums are never normal and are a sign of gum disease or brushing too hard. If you just began regularly flossing, your gums may initially bleed a little at first, but the bleeding should subside after about a week. Taking blood thinners may also cause your gums to suffer, so check with your doctor for potential side effects and your risk levels before beginning new medications.
Red or Swollen Gums
Swelling, redness or puffiness of the gums are usually a sign of inflammation. These signs can be an early indication of gingivitis or gum disease. Swelling in the gums can also be a sign of a viral bacterial infection or may be caused by changes in your hormones.
When Your Gums Are Pale
In some instances, pale gums can be a sign of anemia – a condition in which your body is not producing enough red blood cells. Therefore, your gums may be pale as a result of an iron or B12 deficiency. If your pale gums are also paired with fatigue and dizziness, be sure to contact your doctor. Sometimes this can be remedied by a simple change in your diet, or you may need to incorporate an iron supplement while your red blood cell count is being restored.
Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum disease. Bad breath can result from poor oral hygiene and may be a sign of other health problems.
Gum recession happens when the gum tissue wears away, exposing more of the tooth and sometimes even the root. Receding gums can be caused by gum disease. However, it can also occur from brushing too hard, clenching or grinding your teeth, or hormonal changes.
Improving Your Gum Health
In less than 5 minutes a day, you can improve the health of your gums and also prevent gum disease from taking hold. Proper brushing and flossing techniques are essential in maintaining healthy gums.
Follow these steps for a complete clean:
Flossing at least once a day will help to remove the plaque and food that is beyond the reach of your toothbrush. It does not matter what time of day you floss, as long as you do it!
Brush Twice a Day.
Brushing your teeth helps to remove the food and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Scrub your tongue too, since it can harbor bacteria. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that can fit in your mouth comfortably. Consider a battery-powered electric toothbrush if you have difficulty with brushing your teeth manually.
Smoking is strongly associated with the onset of gum disease. Since smoking weakens your immune system, it also makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. Smoking also makes it more difficult for your gums to heal once they have been damaged, so recovering from gum disease is much more difficult.
Regular Dental Visits
Improve gum health and prevent tooth decay with regular visits to your dentist. Your dentist can detect early gum disease symptoms if you are seen on a regular basis. Treating gum disease at the beginning stages will encourage healing before it becomes a more severe condition. Schedule your next checkup and professional cleaning with Hinsdale Dentistry today.