When it comes to our mouths, we typically care most about our teeth. But our gums are just as important. They hold teeth together, keep them protected from bacteria, can give you bad breath, and can even affect your overall health.
If your gums are swollen or bleed when brushing or using toothpicks, if they have shrunk or receded or your teeth feel loose, it is time to see your dentist who can check your periodontal health.
Many people have gingivitis without even knowing it. Since it’s a mild form of gum disease, it can be hard to detect. But it’s very common and can lead to more serious gum disease, or periodontitis, which is the primary cause of adult tooth loss.
As long as you take good care of your gums and teeth with daily flossing and brushing, your gums should be pretty healthy.
Healthy gums are pink although this may vary depending on your natural complexion. If gums are white, red, or unnaturally black, you may have gingivitis or gum disease.
The most common cause of gingivitis and gum disease is plaque. Plaque is made up of bacteria that irritates your gums and eats away at your teeth enamel. This could leads to your gums becoming very irritated and unhealthy as you begin to develop gum disease.
The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity, or you may notice a tooth looks longer than normal. You may also notice that cold or hot foods make you wince.
If you think your gums are receding, make an appointment with your dentist. There are treatments that can repair the gum and prevent further damage.
While there is no scientific evidence to prove that gums can grow back, the disease can be prevented with regular visits to the periodontist and removing plaque on a daily basis.
Once diagnosed, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist, whose job it is to remove the unseen plaque that is causing your gum disease.
While this seems like invasive treatment, these days with IV sedation or other forms of anesthetic available to dentists, it’s relatively painless and the results will change your bio-health for the better. Save your gums, your teeth will thank you.