Your gums are a crucial part of your oral and dental health. Typically, we think of our teeth when it comes to our oral hygiene. Yet, your gums can impact the health of your entire oral environment. In fact, healthy gums provide the foundation for a strong smile. Therefore, it is essential to ensure good gum health. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take each day to keep your gums healthy.
What Do Our Gums Do?
Gums, or gingiva, support and surround your teeth. They are one part of a protective barrier that keeps bacteria away from your tooth roots. Without your gums, your teeth would shift around and become more vulnerable to bacteria and decay. Your gums help anchor your teeth in place.
Without a proper oral hygiene routine, you can develop common problems with your gums. If you notice swelling or redness in your gums, it could be early-stage gum disease or gingivitis. You may also see bleeding while brushing or flossing your teeth. Untreated gum disease can advance to periodontitis. This can cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss.
As a result, your daily habits can greatly reduce your chances of developing gum disease or other issues.
Daily Habits for Healthy Gums
Your brushing technique is important. While it may seem trivial, how you brush your teeth and gums matters. You should use a soft-bristle toothbrush to clean your teeth in a circular motion gently. Brushing your teeth too hard or with a hard toothbrush can contribute to gum recession. Although the gums are strong enough to hold your teeth, they are still a delicate soft tissue. Proper brushing helps remove plaque and food particles contributing to gum problems.
In addition to brushing, you must floss your teeth every day. Flossing helps reach between the teeth and along the gum line, where toothbrushes can’t. Without flossing, plaque can build along the gum line, causing irritation and inflammation. This is the first stage of gum disease. However, flossing prevents plaque buildup and reduces your risk of gum disease.
Balanced Diet for Gum Health
Whether you know it or not, your diet can influence your gum and oral health. If you eat foods that are high in sugar or acid, you are more likely to develop tooth decay or gum disease. Yet, eating a diet that has nutrient-rich foods can improve your oral health and fight decay. For a well-balanced oral health diet, include fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy for better benefits. These foods also provide essential vitamins and minerals for better gum health.
Stress can have a huge impact on your gum health. Chronic stress can actually weaken the immune system. As a result, you are more susceptible to inflammation and gum disease. Managing your stress can go a long way in keeping your body and oral environment healthy. You can implement stress-relief techniques, such as yoga or meditation, to help support your overall well-being and gum health.