Regular brushing and flossing are the one-two punch for keeping your mouth healthy, but the products you use will affect the end result. If you have concerns about gingivitis or periodontal disease, for example, finding the best toothpaste for gums can help.
Dental Health to Gum Health
The mouth is host to a variety of bacteria, which, although live there naturally, can cause serious problems if allowed to multiply. These bacteria build up and create waste products that become the white, sticky substance you know as plaque. If this plaque isn't cleaned from the teeth on a regular basis, it becomes tartar – which can't be removed without a dental professional.
The buildup of tartar, plaque and bacteria can cause the gums to become inflamed, then infected and eventually to draw back (or recede) from the teeth. As the infection spreads, the gums, bone and connective tissue that support the tooth are damaged, and if the infection is left unchecked, can eventually erode to the point that your teeth are at risk of falling out. This process is described in detail by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).
How Brushing Helps the Gums
Brushing and flossing help keep your teeth healthy, but it's also the best way to prevent gum disease from developing. Brushing cleans plaque from your tooth surfaces and from just below the gumline. In doing so, however, brushing also massages the gums, ensuring healthy blood flow to this vital tissue. A flossing toothbrush gives you a better reach beneath the gumline and includes a tongue cleaner to keep bacteria from starting to collect. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and adds more protection under the gumline where the toothbrush can't quite reach.
Ingredients That Make It Happen
Although brushing with most toothpastes helps massage your gums and keep them healthy, the best toothpaste for gums is formulated with ingredients that are meant for preventing gingivitis and gum disease. The most important ingredient for your overall oral health, though, is fluoride. This naturally occurring mineral is added to toothpaste to prevent cavities, and can even reverse the earliest stages of tooth decay. Ultimately, keeping your teeth and gums clean and free of decay helps keep the gums free of inflammation.
With a diligent oral hygiene routine that includes the best toothpaste for gums you can be sure your gums are as healthy as they can be.