When it comes to taking care of your mouth, you should mind more than just your teeth. While having a white smile looks healthy and attractive, you should pay attention to your gums or the tissues that hold your teeth in place, advises Casey Dentists.
Healthy vs. Unhealthy Gums
Healthy gums look (coral) pink — not red, white or brown. They should also be firm to the touch, instead of tender or swollen. Glide your finger through your gums (be sure to wash your hands first) to get a feel of the tissues. If they feel firm and don’t hurt, there is probably nothing to worry about.
Unhealthy gums, on the other hand, look red and swollen. They also bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, with other symptoms such as bad breath and receding gums (or tissues pulling away from the teeth). If you notice these signs, you might have gingivitis or gum disease.
Gingivitis vs. Gum Disease
Gingivitis or the first stage of gum disease could make your gums bleed and look red, especially when brushing or flossing. Fortunately, this is a reversible condition. Townsville dental clinics note that with proper oral hygiene and professional dental cleaning, you could stop gingivitis from progressing.
Gum disease, however, is likely if you ignore your gingivitis. Common signs include red and tender gums, loose or separating teeth, persistent bad breath as well as other pain in the mouth. If not treated, this progresses into advanced stages and lead to tooth loss.
Getting and Maintaining Healthy Gums
If you have gingivitis or gum disease, it is best to start paying more attention your oral hygiene. This means brushing at least two times a day and flossing at least once daily. Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush and avoid brushing your teeth too hard or too much.
Here are few other suggestions for keeping those tissues healthy:
- Quit or don’t start smoking.
- Change your toothbrush every three months (or sooner if the bristles are worn out).
- Limit your consumption of sugary foods and beverages.
- Go to your regular dental check-ups.
Whether or not you have gum disease, it is still important to visit your dentist at least twice a year. This is to make sure that you have a healthy mouth and to address dental problems before they get worse.