What Your Gums Say About Your Health
Your dentists can tell a lot about a person’s health by looking at their gums. The main cause of gum disease or gingivitis is bacterial plaque. If allowed to build-up over time, this can cause gum tissue to become inflamed. Inflammation of the gums can be caused by multiple factors, but the most common are poor nutrition, smoking, certain medications and even stress! It is important to note that if left unchecked, gum disease can lead to diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and even heart disease.
What Are the Signs of Unhealthy Gums?
There are several tell-tale signs of deteriorating gum health. Some of these could be early indicators while others become apparent during advanced stages of gum disease.
Bad breath is usually a sign that bad bacteria build-up is occurring in the mouth.
- While the colour of gums can differ between people, a darkening of the gums or an inflamed red colour can be a warning sign.
- Tenderness of the gums can be very uncomfortable and is an indication of poor gum health.
- Receding gums
- Excretion of Pus when the gums are pressed is a sign of serious gum issues and should be referred to a dentist immediately.
- If you find that your permanent teeth are starting to become loose, it is time to consult your dental practitioner.
- Sudden, perceptible change in the shape of your bite.
- Excessive bleeding of gums while brushing and flossing.
What Do Healthy Gums Look Like?
Healthy gums usually have a rich, pink colour to them. Often, healthy gums will look similar in colour to other parts of the mouth such as the insides of cheeks and the tongue. A darker colour than the surrounding mouth could be a sign of the onset of gum disease. Always be aware of any changes in the colour of your gums.
When pressed lightly, your gums should always feel firm and sturdy. If your gums feel soft, mushy and sensitive when pressed, it could be a sign that your gum health is suffering. Familiarising yourself with your gums by sliding your tongue across them can also help observe any changes that might have occurred.
If you’ve remembered to brush twice daily and floss after meals, your gums may already be healthy. You can confirm this by observing your mouth and spit to check for blood. Unhealthy and weak gums bleed easily and become inflamed with flossing and even gentle brushing. Gums are extremely sensitive but very easy to maintain with the right knowledge and discipline. Making them an integral part of your dental routine can save you a lot of painful dental visits over the years.
Achieving Optimal Gum Health
A healthy mouth starts with healthy gums. Maintaining an oral health routine which focuses on your gums is always important, as they are the critical support structure for your teeth. If left unchecked, gum disease can set in and give rise to a range of dental problems which may require extensive dental intervention to repair.