September is National Gum Care Month; the perfect time to learn about gums and the best way to ensure that they are healthy!
When considering what makes a beautiful smile, most people only think of teeth. However, another vital component to any happy smile is healthy gums. Without gums, teeth would have nothing to hold them in place in your mouth. There wouldn’t be anything to cushion your teeth and absorb the impact as you chew, and the roots of your teeth would be left unprotected.
So, what exactly are gums?
Gums (gingiva) are tissue that anchor and surround teeth. They also have tiny fibers that connect a tooth to bone. Gums are covered in a mucus layer that helps to keep everything inside of your mouth clean. They should appear pink in color and sit snugly around your teeth. If gums are discolored, loose or sunken, these are signs that gums may not be healthy.
If gums are so important, what should we do to take care of them?
Brush and floss every day— With a soft bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste, brush twice a day or after every meal. Floss once a day.
Drink plenty of water— Flush sugar and other cavity causing substances from your mouth with tap water.
Fill your diet with fruits and veggies— Diets high in fiber and vitamins can help keep your gums healthy.
Visit your dentist regularly— Regular cleanings (twice per year) and check-ups will make it much more likely that any oral health or gum issues are detected early.
Avoid tobacco use— Using tobacco can increase your risk of gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It also makes it more difficult for damaged gums to heal and can prevent treatment from working.