Keep Your Gums Clean and Stay Healthy

Bleeding Gums Murphy

Gingivitis might make you want to play the blues too.  After all Puffy, red, inflamed, bleeding gums are not attractive sight.  These are generally symptoms of the gum disease gingivitis.  Gingivitis is an infection of the gums that causes them to become inflamed.  If not treated it can progress to periodontitis which is a destructive form of gum disease.  Gum disease today is less common than in the past, however, it still affects roughly one in ten American adults.  Keeping your gums in good shape is an important part of your oral health.  They hold your teeth in place, keep your mouth in working order and ensure your smile keeps looking great.  For all of these reasons it is important to take care of your gums.

Gums and Your Overall Health

There are many studies that suggest your gum health affects your overall health.  For example, moderate to severe gum disease has been shown to increase inflammation levels throughout your body.  Several studies show that inflammation from severe gum disease may be linked to strokes as well as heart disease.  Research shows that gum health may also have an effect on the health of your lungs and respiratory tract.  Keeping your gums clean can help prevent respiratory tract infections that result from inhaling bacteria that have accumulated in your mouth.  Your gums are what keep your teeth securely in place.  Severe gum disease can weaken your gums grip and possibly cause you to lose teeth.  When you lose your teeth it may become harder for you to eat.  Chewing problems can lead to poor nutrition, which can cause other problems such as exhaustion and dizziness.  Your emotional health may be linked to your gums as well.  Your smile is your calling card to the world.  In the United States, dentists pull millions of teeth a year and one of the most common reactions to noticeable tooth loss is embarrassment.

Tips For Keeping Your Gums Healthy

The basics to keeping your gums healthy begins with brushing your teeth.  Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day with toothpaste.  Pay special attention to your gum line, ensuring that you remove any plaque buildup.  Keep an eye on your toothbrush and be sure to replace it once it begins to wear out.  You should be replacing your toothbrush about every three to four months.  Floss after you brush.  You should be flossing at least twice a day to keep bacteria from building up between your teeth.  Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash.  These mouthwashes are a good way to ensure that you wipe out any bacteria left over after you finish brushing and flossing.  Schedule regular checkups and cleanings with your dentists.  As a rule of thumb you should be seeing your dentist at least twice a year to have your teeth professionally cleaned.  Keep your dentist up to date on your overall health.  Changes in other areas of your body may put you at a higher risk of developing severe gum disease.  Think about cutting back on sugary snacks and drinks.  Soda is terrible for your teeth and gums, and candy bars aren’t helping matters either.  If you are a smoker, quit.  Gum disease is one of the many harmful side-effects of smoking tobacco.

When I was younger I did not take great care of my teeth.  Looking back on it now, that was one of the terrible decisions of my youth.  Thankfully my teeth and gums never got seriously infected or damaged.  However, I do know what it is like to live with gingivitis.  It can be a terribly embarrassing disease.  You will steer clear of some of your favorite foods out of the fear that they may make your gums bleed.  Even soft foods will sometimes cause enough irritation to draw blood.  Looking in the mirror every morning and seeing those puffy red gums in my mouth was a daily reminder of my failure to keep my mouth clean.  When I finally decided to turn things around I found out that it really was not that hard.  Thankfully, the cure for gingivitis is merely brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash twice a day everyday.  After about two weeks my gums had stared to clear up and I instantly felt better about myself.  I stopped worrying about eating certain foods or the way my gums looked when I smiled, and my breath didn’t stink anymore.  Having healthy gums is not that difficult.  You just have to apply yourself to making sure you brush, floss, use mouthwash twice a day and see your dentist biannually for professional cleanings.  Having healthy gums is an important part of your oral health.  So buck up and take it seriously.

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