You're probably aware of the signs that you may have a cavity to watch for, but did you know that the condition of your gums can also say a lot about your oral health? Gingivitis and other types of gum disease can both harm your gums and make your teeth more vulnerable to cavities. At Today's Dental, we are always here to help if you experience painful gums or other irregularities. Here are some of the easiest ways to tell if you've been taking care of your mouth or if you would benefit from professional assistance to improve the health of your gums!
Signs That Your Gums Are Healthy
Healthy gums are an essential part of your overall oral health, and there are several signs that indicate that your gums are in good shape. Healthy gums are generally a light to medium shade of pink, look and feel firm instead of too soft or spongy, and fit snugly against your teeth without pulling away from your roots and leaving gaps that are difficult to clean. You shouldn't experience pain or discomfort when brushing, flossing or eating ice cream or other cold foods.
Signs That Your Gums Require Attention
Unhealthy gums can make you more vulnerable to cavities and other oral health problems. Fortunately, there are several indicators that your gums may require attention that occur early enough that the majority of gum damage is still reversible. Gums that aren't healthy can bleed or be red, puffy, or painful, especially when eating hot or cold foods or brushing or flossing your teeth. Diseased gums can also recede, or pull away from your teeth, which can increase your chances of experiencing tooth decay.
Although minor symptoms can seem insignificant at first, it is important to address them as soon as possible. Ignoring signs of unhealthy gums allows bacteria to build up throughout the mouth over time, which can lead to more severe tooth decay or tooth loss that is often more difficult to treat.
The Good News About the Health of Your Gums
Although untreated gum disease can significantly impact your oral health, the good news is that most gum problems are completely treatable. Gingivitis is only the first step in gum disease, and you still have opportunities to reverse symptoms and prevent further damage. Making small changes to your oral hygiene routine can set you up for better oral health in the future.
Caring for your teeth properly is the most important step you can take to restore the health of your gums. Brushing your teeth with the right toothbrush and using mouthwash twice each day play a significant role in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. The American Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, which can help minimize the bacteria buildup and frayed bristles that can contribute to gum damage. You may especially benefit from choosing a softer toothbrush if you notice that your gums are receding, especially if your current brush is fraying.
At Today's Dental, we prioritize helping patients throughout Nebraska fine-tune their oral healthcare routines to maximize their tooth and gum health. If you've been experiencing symptoms that indicate less-than-stellar gum health, we can help you identify ways that you can take better care of your mouth to boost your oral health and avoid more serious problems in the future. We are always here to help you take steps to prevent and treat a wide variety of oral health issues. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer or to schedule an appointment!