Taking care of our gums is important not only for oral health, but also for our overall well-being
Gum care: everything you need to know
Take it gum care is very important. Having healthy gums, in fact, means having healthy teeth, removing the risk of pain, redness and serious dental and gum disease and means, guarantee health and safety for the whole organism.
But how are healthy gums distinguished from unhealthy ones, how can ailments such as gingivitis and periodontitis be prevented, when should you go to the dentist? And how important is proper oral hygiene?
Let’s try to clarify the subject.
Healthy gums and unhealthy gums: how to distinguish them
There are some signs that must immediately let us know if our gums are good or bad. Prompt intervention in case of inflammation of the oral cavity can make the difference.
Let’s see specifically what characteristics distinguish healthy gums from other unhealthy ones:
- they have a light pink color
- they are well attached to the tooth
- they never bleed
- they tend to redden
- they are swollen
- they often bleed, simply to the touch
- have a visible accumulation of plaque between tooth and gum
If you notice that something is wrong with your gums, it is important to intervene quickly. If the inflammation of the gums is not treated in time, in fact, it could spread to the bone and gradually attack the structures that support the tooth, leading to loss.
What is periodontitis
A simple one gum inflammationle, which manifests itself with redness, swelling, should never be ignored, therefore, because – as already mentioned – if not treated in time it can only worsen, degenerating, more often than not, into a periodontitis.
Periodontitis is an inflammation of the periodontium (ie the tissue that joins the tooth to the bone); it is one of the most common gum and oral disorders among women and men. If not taken in time, it can lead to irreparable consequences, such as tooth loss.
Periodontitis, as well as gingivitis, occur when the bacterial balance of the oral cavity is upset by incorrect oral hygiene or other risk factors. In fact, following a correct cleaning of teeth and gums on a daily basis is essential to ensure full health of the whole mouth. Periodontal problems are always the consequence of the accumulation of bacteria in dental plaque. The latter, if not eliminated correctly and constantly, tends to harden, causing the formation of tartar.
Gum disease: risk factors
There are some risk factors that, in addition to poor or incorrect oral hygiene, can increase inflammation of the gums.
Specifically, you can run into gingivitis and periodontitis in case of:
- Stress: stressful situations always have repercussions on general health and also on the gums. Often, moreover, under stress, the individual tends to take less care of himself, including oral hygiene
- Diabetes: as blood sugar levels rise, the immune system reacts more aggressively to bacterial plaque that forms on the gums, which is why diabetes sufferers are three times more prone to gingivitis
Pregnancy: alterations in hormone levels in the body cause some morphological and physiological changes in the gums, making pregnant women more prone to gingivitis and periodontitis.
- High pressure: some high blood pressure medications (such as nifedipine, amlodipine, and nitrendipine) can increase bacteria in the gum, resulting in inflammation
- Over 40 years of age: gingivitis and periodontitis can occur at any age, but after 40, especially in the presence of other risk factors (such as diabetes, smoking, etc.), the odds increase
- Smoke: those who smoke are subject to periodontitis 2.5 to 6 times more than those who do not smoke and the chances of success of the treatments are also lowered.
Oral health affects overall health
Experts point out that poor oral health can affect the health of our entire body. But what is the connection between gums and teeth and the rest of the body?
A gum inflammation that is not stopped in time could extend to the jaw, causing its gradual deterioration. Not only that: a periodontitis not treated properly could lead to complications such as heart disease, diabetes, unpleasant outcomes in pregnancy.
Studies recently carried out show how inflammation of the oral cavity can have important consequences on the general state of health. For this reason, the first signs of gum disease should never be underestimated, but it is important to contact the dentist to investigate the problem and act accordingly.
Prevent inflammation with proper oral hygiene
Carry out one daily proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing inflammation and protecting teeth and gums.
The inflammation of the gums, in fact, as explained above, is caused by dental plaque. This is why it is important to remove it daily.
The teeth should be brushed twice a day, taking care to clean all the interdental spaces and rinse the mouth. It is essential to choose – under the advice of the dentist – a toothbrush suitable for the morphology of your gums, an indicated toothpaste and an antibacterial mouthwash.
At least once a day, it is recommended to use dental floss, perhaps in the evening before going to bed, to deeply clean the interdental spaces that the brush cannot reach. Finally, it is essential to schedule regular visits to the dentist.