Why gums are just as important as teeth
When you think about your dream smile, you probably focus on the appearance of your teeth. Perhaps you’ll consider the shape of your lips, but it usually doesn’t go much further than that. Why should it? Those are the only bits people see, aren’t they?
While this is true, teeth and lips are fundamental for the aesthetics of a smile, one of the most important factors of all is your gums. That’s right, the pink bit you probably don’t pay much attention to!
Why are gums so crucial?
Much like the foundation of a house, your gums create the supporting structure for your beautiful teeth; without healthy gums there is no healthy smile.
The gums form a tight seal around the teeth. This creates a barrier that prevents bacteria in the mouth from reaching the jawbone below. If plaque is not properly removed and builds up around the gums This can cause inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis or gum disease. If not treated at this stage it can then lead to something called pockets. This happens when the gum pulls away from the teeth creating a gap – the pocket. This is a lovely little spot for more plaque and bacteria to lurk in. This is when gum disease becomes periodontal disease, which can lead to bone loss and therefore tooth loss if left untreated.
Gum disease also has proven systemic links with numerous other conditions, including stroke, heart disease and diabetes so it is in the interest of your overall health to keep your gums in top condition!
What to look out for
The first signs of gum disease are bleeding when you brush or floss. Your gums may be red, swollen or tender. You might have bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth. It is also worth looking at your teeth for signs of plaque build up. This happens around the spots that are harder to brush, such as the back of teeth and around fixed retainers.
What should you do?
In the first instance, you should book an appointment to see a hygienist. They will have a good look around your mouth and assess the health of your gums. They can advise if you do have gum disease and, if so, what stage it is at. In most cases, following a professional clean by the hygienist or therapist, ramping up your home care regime in the long term will reverse the issue.
During your appointment, the hygienist will be able to show you any particular areas that require extra attention and will be able to suggest methods and cleaning tools to help you keep things spotless. They may also recommend regular, three-monthly appointments to keep an eye on things and ensure everything is getting back on track.
where do i find a good hygienist?
Go to DefactoDentists.com and search for a dental clinic near you with a good hygienist. Check out their reviews to see what other people are saying about them.