Most of us have grown up knowing how important it is to brush and floss your teeth to prevent tooth decay. But healthy teeth are only one part of good oral health. In fact, healthy gums are absolutely essential. What follows are reasons why it’s so important to properly care for your gums.
- Without healthy gums, you’ll lose your teeth. The fact is that healthy gums support your teeth, and if your gums aren’t healthy – in other words, if you have gum disease that is left untreated for a period of time – you’ll eventually lose your teeth.
- Healthy gums don’t hurt. That may sound all too obvious, but it’s really true. Gum disease – even the early stages of it – can be uncomfortable and even painful. Gingivitis leaves your gums swollen and sore, not to mention extra sensitive to hot and cold food and drinks.
- Unhealthy gums cause bad breath. Another symptom of gum disease is bad breath – chronic bad breath that won’t go away!
- Unhealthy gums may increase your risk for developing other serious diseases. Numerous studies conducted over the past several years have shown a direct correlation between gum disease and other more serious health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease! Although more research needs to be done to understand the exact relationship between gum health and other diseases, the connection is undeniable.
- People with healthy gums are often more healthy overall. Researchers know that bad bacteria living inside your mouth can easily make its way into your blood stream, and that will make you more susceptible to developing infections.
- Healthy gums may improve your memory! That might sound hard to believe, but studies have shown a connection between healthy gums and having a good memory. In these studies, participants with early-stage gum disease performed poorly on memory tests, while people with healthy gums performed quite well.
Now, for the good news: there are several easy ways that you can prevent gum disease and enjoy all the benefits that come with healthy gums. Simply follow a daily oral hygiene routine that includes brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. To “up the ante” on your gum-care routine, use a water flosser and an anti-microbial mouthwash once a day in addition to brushing and flossing. And, of course, visit your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings and oral exams. Healthy gums mean not only holding onto your teeth; it also gives you a better chance at good overall health as well!