When taking steps to ensure a healthy mouth, it is important to address gum health from the outset. Although many of us might focus on our teeth primarily –  keeping them white and free of plaque – healthy gums are vital to our oral health, as well as our overall physical wellbeing.

Hove Dental Clinic are here to provide our top tips to improve gum health, as well as expert advice on how to recognise poor or declining gum hygiene. Taking control of your gum health doesn’t have to be difficult, and can help you live a healthier, happier life without unnecessary pain or health complications.

What Is Gum Health and Why Is It So Important?

Gum health refers to the condition of the soft tissue in your mouth, which has the important function of protecting your teeth. By forming a tight seal to keep teeth in place and act as a barrier against bacteria, gums help to support healthy tooth roots and prevent harmful bacteria from causing inflammation or health issues.

This means that your gum health is directly linked to your overall dental health. Without ensuring the correct care for your gums, you may develop painful or irritating oral health problems further down the line, particularly if left untreated.

The most common consequence of poor gum health is gum disease, known as gingivitis when mild and advancing to periodontitis when more severe. Gum disease occurs when the oral microbiome of good and bad bacteria in your mouth becomes unbalanced, and can cause significant issues, leading to receding gums and tooth loss amongst other health problems. 

Some studies even suggest that gum disease may have links with other diseases such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease and respiratory disease.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease?

If gum health has been neglected, there are several signs and symptoms which point towards the onset of gum disease. As well as an unusual gum colour such as red or yellow, the initial signs to be aware of are:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen or inflamed gums 

Ultimately, this can lead to additional dental issues which further point towards gum disease,  including:

  • Bad breath, or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth

The implications of gum disease are concerning, and can lead to painful tooth decay and an array of worrying health problems. This means it’s crucial to maintain a high standard of gum health by regularly taking action to maintain oral hygiene in your everyday routine.

How to Improve Your Gum Health

There are several simple steps you can take to naturally maintain and improve your gum health in order to prevent gum disease. Thankfully, these require little effort and can be incorporated into your usual dental care routine to make a big impact on your oral health.

  • Brush twice daily: The most important step you can take to maintain and improve your gum health is to brush your teeth twice daily using fluoride toothpaste and an electric or manual toothbrush. It is recommended to brush for at least two minutes each time, giving 30 seconds to each quadrant of your mouth. You can also use a mouthwash, but avoid using this straight after brushing your teeth.
  • Clean between your teeth: The emphasis which dentists place on cleaning between your teeth, be it with floss or an interdental product, is for good reason. This allows you to remove plaque before it can harden into tartar and cause issues such as gum disease.
  • Replace your toothbrush: Replacing your toothbrush every one to three months, or when it becomes visibly frayed, gives it greater effectiveness when brushing your teeth, as well as providing a softer brush to protect the delicate soft gum tissue.
  • Book regular check-ups: Your dentist can help you to prevent bad gum health through professional cleaning treatment, removing bacteria and plaque build-up in your mouth, as well as providing personalised advice. Regular check-ups also mean issues can be spotted, and prevented, sooner.

At Hove Dental Clinic, we offer regular preventative dentistry and dental check-ups, including teeth cleaning and dental hygiene checks for your teeth and gums. With flexible appointment times to suit a busy schedule and an excellent reputation with nervous patients, we can help you with your gum health. 

For dental appointments in the Brighton & Hove area, contact us today.

Additional Ways to Promote Excellent Gum Health

Outside of the above methods, there are additional practices which can help to promote good gum health. For example, some people may consider incorporating the use of essential oils for gum health, such as clove or thyme, into their dental care routine.

Most importantly, however, it’s our lifestyle choices that can have a huge impact on our oral health. This might include:

fruits and vegetables

A Healthy Diet

The food you eat can have a significant impact on your gum health. As such, there are certain vitamins and foods which might encourage good gum health, although research is still being conducted.

Key nutrients which might boost and preserve gum health include:

  • Vitamin C – good sources are citrus fruit, berries and leafy greens
  • Vitamin B12 – good sources are milk, eggs, meat and some fortified cereals 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – good sources are flaxseed oil and fish

Another dietary choice to be aware of is the impact of alcohol on gum health. Studies show that excessive consumption of alcohol can negatively affect gums, in some cases unbalancing the oral microbiome which leads to deteriorating gum health.

Quitting Smoking

Smoking is a significant risk factor for poor gum health, as smokers are more likely to suffer from excessive bacterial plaque, causing inflammation in the gums. As smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the blood, the infected gums are unable to heal, worsening the possibility of gum disease. In fact, studies suggest that smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to have gum disease.

Therefore, improvement in gum health after quitting smoking can be considerable, reducing the risk of gum disease to that of a non-smoker. Once you’ve quit smoking, seeking advice and treatment from your dentist is recommended to help reduce the impact that smoking has had on your oral health.

Take Action Today to Improve Your Gum Health

The impact that gum health has on your oral and physical health makes it exceptionally important. You can start prioritising your gum health today by following the advice above, ensuring that you maintain excellent oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing.
At Hove Dental Clinic, our fantastic dental team is on hand to provide first-class advice and treatments to improve your gum health, as well as your overall dental hygiene. Contact us today to find out more about your options, and take the first step towards better gum health.