Keeping Your Gums Healthy

Phoenix_DentistIf we view our body as a theatrical stage, the gums at first glance might seem to be merely supporting players, not contributing all that much to the “action” that takes place in the mouth. But as any Phoenix dentist can tell you, the health of your gums is an intrinsic part of your overall oral health.

Gums and inflammation

To understand the dynamics of oral health, it’s important to understand that the human mouth is constantly dealing with the effects of the bacteria that accumulate on our teeth and gums as we eat and drink. Our gums are part of our defense system against bacterial infection. If bacteria is not being effectively dealt with in your mouth, your dentist may find that your gums are inflamed and you have contracted a form of gum disease.

There are two main types of gum disease – gingivitis and periodontitis. Although the latter type of gum disease can be quite serious, often requiring surgery to correct, both illnesses have relatively few symptoms, which may include gums that bleed easily, swollen or tender gums, persistent bad breath, or a bad taste in one’s mouth.

However, while gum disease may not produce a lot of “fanfare” when it arrives, it leaves a path of destruction in its wake. The inflammation associated with gum disease has been implicated in the development of other systemic illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease.

Maintaining healthy gums

Your Phoenix dentist can help you improve or maintain the health of your gums by:

  • Supervising your regular dental cleaning visits. These visits are important because they allow your dentist to begin treating conditions such as gingivitis in their earliest stages.
  • Advising you on foods you can eat to improve the health of your gums through better nutrition.
  • Recommending tools for your oral hygiene regimen that will help keep your gums healthy.

Another choice you can make to improve the health of your gums is to stop smoking, as there is a huge correlation between smoking and gum disease.

“If we think of teeth as the ‘stars’ of our mouth, we can’t forget that our gums provide the support that make the work of our teeth possible,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a Phoenix cosmetic dentist. “Attending to the health of your gums is as important as caring for your teeth.”

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