Your gums – scientifically known as gingiva – are the tissue that surrounds and protects your teeth. They’re very much the unsung heroes of your mouth, playing a crucial role in your oral health and wellbeing. While we all know and understand the importance of looking after our teeth, we’re often less concerned with caring for our gums. In this article, we explain why the two are so intricately linked and how crucial gum health is for the functioning of your teeth.
Avoiding periodontal disease is crucial for your overall health
Periodontal disease (more commonly referred to as gum disease) is a serious affliction that may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. Granted, this isn’t directly related to your teeth, but gum disease is also the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. The disease is initiated by pathogenic bacteria that infect your gums and prevent them from functioning properly. As such, keeping your gums clean and healthy is incredibly important, not just for your dental health, but for your overall well being.
Your gums keep your teeth in position
Comprised of soft skin, your gums cover the bones in your mouth and keep your teeth in position. The tissue forms a tight seal around your teeth, which serves to keep them in place and protect them from infection. If you don’t look after your gums, bacteria and food debris can make their way into the gaps between your teeth, which can lead to a build-up of plaque and even contribute to gum disease.
Healthy gums can prevent halitosis
Granted, there are multiple causes of halitosis (bad breath), but poorly cared for gums is one of them. If you don’t brush and clean your gums regularly, you allow bacteria to grow and thrive in your mouth, which is often what causes your breath to smell bad. Equally, gingivitis, the inflammation of your gums due to poor dental hygiene, also leads to halitosis. Untreated, gingivitis can then destabilise your teeth and lead to infections, pain, and potentially the loss or cracking of certain teeth.
Your gums protect your teeth against bacterial infections
Did you know that the oral cavity is home to as many as 700 bacterial species? Granted, they’re not all the bad kind, but much of the bacteria in your mouth can wreak havoc if not dealt with. Harmful bacteria in your mouth, which is exacerbated by unhealthy gums, can break down the structure of your teeth. In turn, this destabilises your teeth and may cause them to detach from your jawbone. If you want your gums to fight bad bacteria on your behalf, you need to keep them strong, clean, and healthy.
What can you do to protect your gums?
The link between strong gums and healthy teeth is undeniable. To ensure your oral health doesn’t suffer, make sure you do the following to protect your gums:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss regularly and use an antibacterial mouthwash
- Limit your intake of sweets and sugary foods
- Increase the vitamin intake in your diet
- Visit the dentist regularly
If you’re particularly concerned about the health of your gums, we offer a professional gum treatment service that will significantly improve your oral health. To book an appointment or to speak to one of our dentists, visit our website or call us directly on 020 7837 2300.