You take the time to brush and floss your teeth because you want a brighter smile. But how often do you think about ways to improve the health of your gums? Most people don't realise that their gums play a vital role in the beauty of their smile.
If you don't take care of your gums, several conditions could cause problems that will affect the look and feel of your entire mouth. Learn why gum health is so important and how to make your gums healthier in 5 minutes or less.
Why Do Gums Matter?
You've probably heard of gum disease. But do you really know what it is? This annoying infection can affect your teeth and all the surrounding tissues in your mouth. Because the disease doesn't cause pain, many people don't know they have it. So why does it matter? Gum disease is a leading cause for tooth loss in adults.
Gum disease occurs when plaque is not removed through proper brushing and flossing. You won't feel any pain when you have gum disease so make sure you recognise the warning signs and get help if needed. According to the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH), you should talk to your dentist and dental hygienist during your visit about the presence of:
- Bleeding gums
- Red or swollen gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums (gums that are pulling away from your teeth)
When gum disease becomes more advanced, it is called periodontitis. This condition can result in the development of periodontal pockets, swollen gum tissue and loss of bone, which could lead to tooth loss.
Improve Gum Health
You can prevent gum disease with simple steps that take just a few minutes. Proper brushing and flossing techniques are essential. After you floss, follow these steps to brush both your teeth and your gums:
- Proper angle - Make sure you hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line.
- Short strokes - Move the brush back and forth in short gentle strokes brushing both the front and back of your teeth and gums.
- Use the tip - To get behind your front teeth, use the tip of the brush on the top and on the bottom teeth.
- Brush your tongue - Keep your mouth fresh by brushing your tongue.