September is here, and it’s time to spotlight an integral yet often overlooked aspect of oral health: our gums. While many people understand the importance of maintaining strong, healthy teeth, the health of our gums can sometimes be pushed aside. As we mark Gum Care Month, the team at Wells Family Dental Group wants to emphasize why taking care of your gums is so important.
Why Gum Health Matters
Your gums are the soft tissue lining of your mouth that surrounds and supports your teeth, acting as a seal around each tooth. Healthy gums are crucial for a healthy mouth. They not only hold your teeth in place but also act as barriers against bacteria that can potentially cause dental issues.
However, gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can jeopardize this crucial role. It’s an infection of the gums that can gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Gum disease is primarily caused by poor oral hygiene, which allows plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—to remain on the teeth and harden.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease develops progressively. It starts as gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gums due to plaque build-up at the gumline. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more serious condition where gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected. Over time, the body’s inflammatory response and the bacteria can break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place, leading to tooth loss.
Gum Health and Overall Health
Research suggests that there is a significant link between gum disease and other systemic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory diseases. These conditions may be more difficult to control if your oral health is not optimal, emphasizing the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene.
Preventing and Treating Gum Disease
The good news is gum disease is preventable and treatable. Here are some steps you can take to maintain healthy gums:
- Brush and Floss Daily: Brush at least twice a day, and don’t forget to floss. Flossing is crucial in removing plaque from areas where your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Regular Dental Check-ups: Regular check-ups at Wells Family Dental Group can help detect early signs of gum disease.
- Quit Smoking: Smoking is a significant risk factor for gum disease. If you smoke, seek help to quit.
- Eat a Healthy Diet: A balanced diet provides the necessary nutrients for optimal oral health.
- Know the Signs: Regularly check your mouth for signs of gum disease, such as swollen or bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, or loose teeth.
This September, let’s give our gums the care they deserve. Your gum health is not just about preventing disease; it’s about creating a foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles and overall well-being.
Contact Wells Family Dental Group
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment for yourself or a family member, don’t hesitate to contact our office today. Give us a call at 919-266-5332. We look forward to hearing from you!