“Everybody knows that it’s important to keep their teeth healthy. We only get one adult set of them in our lives, so most people understand that it’s important to keep their mouth’s well-being a priority. Something many take for granted, though, is the fleshy pink membrane their molars are embedded in – the gums are one of America’s most overlooked organs in terms of hygiene and maintenance, which is ironic considering how much preventative measures can protect them in the long run.
The number one way to keep your gums healthy? Brushing thoroughly twice a day, same as you do for your teeth. Use a soft-bristled brush and take care to massage all along the gumlines, where many types of gum disease lurk, at a forty-five degree angle. Two other areas to take extra care with when brushing: the surface of the tongue and the roof of your mouth. Both places serve as petri dishes for bacteria when neglected. You certainly don’t want to skip either.
Flossing is another habit that many people assume only benefit your enamel, but this is far from the case. Not only does it clear out physical debris and plaque trapped in the gums, it also stimulates them and improves blood flow and circulation, enabling them to maintain themselves even more efficiently. Removing the plaque found in those hidden spaces prevents build-up and inflammation, which can loosen the gum around the teeth and create opportune pockets of space for germs to hide and fester in.
Lifestyle also has a huge impact on one’s periodontics – tobacco is absolutely the number one thing to avoid as a whole, as the carcinogenic effects of the smoke can cause the delicate tissue of the gums to deteriorate and decay. Age is another factor – the older you are, the more attention your mouth is going to need to stay in good condition. Genetics are also something to keep in mind, as certain types of people are more susceptible to some problems than others. And, of course, the things you eat also matter a great deal; avoiding as much sugar as possible and eating one raw, fibrous fruit or vegetable a day is what most dentists will recommend.”