q How to Keep Your Gums Pink & Healthy - Harcourt Health

How to Keep Your Gums Pink & Healthy

So, what do you need to do to keep your gums healthy and pink?

I bet you’ve looked in the mirror already to check out how healthy your gums are!

Healthy gums are a good indicator of healthy teeth. More precisely, healthy teeth require healthy gums.

It follows then that practicing good oral hygiene is very important. Good oral hygiene goes way beyond brushing your teeth to get a nice white smile. You need to keep your gums healthy, and brushing, amongst other things, helps you do this.

In this article, we’re going to looking at how you can prevent, and even reverse, gum disease. In other words, how to keep your gums healthy.

If your gums are pink, following the advice below will keep them pink. If the condition of your gums is less than ideal, you need to change your oral hygiene habits to get them healthy again.

Quite literally, it’s the way to keep smiling with a full set of your own teeth.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, or gingivitis, is inflammation of the gums.  It gets its name from the medical name for gums, which is gingiva.

Gingivitis occurs because a film of plaque, or bacteria, accumulates on the teeth. Red and puffy gums that bleed easily when a person brushes their teeth are the signs of gingivitis.

If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, a more serious disease that can eventually lead to bone damage and loss of teeth.

How Do You Get Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is caused primarily by plaque, but can also be due to systemic factors, certain medications, or malnutrition. 

Gingivitis can also be caused when gingival lesions occur. Lesions can be caused by a specific bacterium, virus or fungus. Other causes include genetic factors, systemic conditions (such as allergic reactions and certain illnesses), wounds, or reactions to foreign bodies, such as dentures.

Sometimes, no specific cause can be pinpointed. Gingivitis is, however, a condition that should be taken seriously-

How Do I Prevent Gingivitis?

Here are a few ways you can keep your gums healthy – and pink.

Floss at Least Once a Day

This helps remove the plaque and food that your toothbrush cannot reach. It doesn’t matter when you floss, be it morning, noon, or night. Just make sure you do it!

Brush at Least Twice a Day 

Brush your teeth after every meal. This removes food and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Your tongue also harbors bacteria, so we recommend that you brush your tongue too.  After all these years, dentists still maintain that your toothbrushes should have soft bristles. They should also be the correct size for your mouth – neither too big nor too small.

Using a battery-powered or electric toothbrush reduces gingivitis and plaque more than manual brushing does. Ensure that you change toothbrush heads as soon as the bristles start to fray, but at least every three to four months.

Many people have both an electric and a manual toothbrush since an electric one is sometimes impractical when you go traveling. And some prefer to alternate between the two.

In response to concerns about gingivitis, the latest technology has produced a new brush that brushes your teeth at a 45-degree angle.  Check out this product!

It’s specially designed to remove plaque and bacteria from the small gap where the gum and the tooth meet. And watch the video too; it gives a great explanation of how and where gingivitis occurs.

Have a Dental Cleaning Regularly 
Your dentist or hygienist can detect early gum disease symptoms if you have your teeth cleaned professionally about every six months. That way, symptoms can be treated before they become more serious.

Professional dental cleaning is the only way to remove tartar. It can also get rid of any plaque you missed when brushing or flossing.

It is important to note that if you have gingivitis, brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings can help reverse it.

Quit Smoking

Smoking tobacco is strongly associated with the onset of gum disease. Smoking weakens your immune system, so it also makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. Once they’ve been damaged, smoking makes it harder for your gums to heal 

Use Fluoride Toothpaste

Make sure to choose toothpaste that contains fluoride and has the ADA seal of acceptance. You can purchase toothpaste that contains fluoride online.

Use Mouthwash

Mouthwashes can help reduce plaque, prevent or reduce gingivitis, and reduce the speed at which tartar develops.

Rinsing, or pulling through, helps remove food particles and debris from your mouth, although it’s not a substitute for flossing or brushing. 

Drinking Plenty of Water and Eating Fruit & Veg

Drinking the recommended two liters of water per day helps to keep your mouth fresh and free of bacteria. 

Eating fresh fruit and vegetables keeps your teeth strong because you have to chew.

How to Keep Your Gums Healthy When They’re Receding

Many things can cause receding gums: aging, brushing too hard, and poor dental hygiene. Receding gums also create the small spaces where plaque collects. This can lead to the gums receding even more.

Gum tissue does not regenerate the way other types of tissue do. Receding gums don’t grow back. The process can be slowed down by a dental procedure known as scaling and root planing

Scaling and planning is often done nowadays using an ultrasonic device that vibrates at high frequency to loosen and remove plaque.  You might have a slow-release anti-bacterial gel placed beneath your gumline and the dentist might prescribe an antibiotic mouthwash.

In more serious cases, dental surgery is involved.

Think Pink!

Scary stuff? You bet!

How much easier to practice good oral hygiene daily and visit your dentist regularly? You know how to keep your gums healthy, so make it an everyday routine and avoid scary procedures at the dentist.

Along with other healthy lifetime habits, taking proper care of your teeth and gums—and keeping those gums healthy and pink!—is worth it, and you’ll have one more reason to keep smiling.