7 Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy

7 Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy

Gums are one of the most important tissues of the body, as they are directly in contact with your oral health. To keep your gums healthy and steer away from gum disease, one must make sure to  

What is gum disease?

In order to keep your gums healthy, it is crucial to first know what it is like to have unhealthy gums. Plaque accumulation beneath and along the gum line is the first sign of gum disease. Plaque is a bacterially-filled sticky material that resembles a film. Gum disease and tooth decay can result from infections that damage the gums and bone. The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, can also be brought on by plaque. When you have gingivitis, your gums become:

  • inflamed
  • tender
  • red
  • swollen
  • prone to bleeding

Fortunately, this injury is reversible because it doesn’t affect the tissue or bone that holds the teeth in place.

Additionally, you may get periodontitis, a more severe kind of gum disease. The bones that hold your teeth in place are affected by periodontitis. If left untreated, it might damage your teeth’s supporting tissues, bones, and gums.

Advanced periodontitis is gum disease’s last stage. At this point, the bone and tissue that support your teeth are gone. It may affect your bite, necessitating the extraction of teeth.

The American Dental Association (ADA) lists the following symptoms as indicators that you may have gum disease:

  • consistently bad taste or breath
  • separating or loose permanent teeth
  • gums that easily bleed
  • gums that are swollen, red, or tender
  • gums that have pulled away from your teeth

The good news about all this is that gum disease is actually preventable. Here are a few ways you can help keep your gums healthy.

1. Floss Daily

7 Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy - floss daily

At least once a day, floss. According to the ADA, this aids in getting rid of food particles and plaque that are out of reach of your toothbrush. It makes no difference when you floss. You should definitely check out our other piece about flossing, which you can read here. It is going to help you have a better understanding of how flossing works and what is the right way of doing it!

2. Get regular dental cleanings

If you visit your dentist frequently, they will be able to identify early signs of gum disease. In this manner, symptoms can be managed before they worsen. Tartar removal can only be achieved by a professional cleaning. Moreover, it can remove any plaque that you missed while brushing or flossing. Brushing, flossing, and routine dental cleanings can help reverse gingivitis.

3. Quit smoking

Amongst the many reasons why you should be quitting smoking ASAP is that research has shown that it has some really strong ties with gum disease. It is now a commonly known fact that smoking severely weakens the immune system making it harder for the immune system to fight back against gum infections. This is backed up by studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Also, smoking makes it more difficult for your gums to heal once they’ve been damaged.

4. Brush twice a day

This one may sound quite obvious but please brush your teeth after every meal if not, at least twice a day. This is going to remove all the plaque hiding in between your teeth and gums. And do not forget your tongue too as it can house bacteria. It is important to use a toothbrush that doesn’t feel like it is hurting your teeth or the gum and has a special area for cleaning your tongue. We have extensively discussed how you should be brushing your teeth in another article which you can check out here.

Think about an electric or battery-operated toothbrush. More so than physical brushing, these can aid in the reduction of plaque and gingivitis. Every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles begin to tear, replace toothbrushes or toothbrush heads.

5. Use fluoride toothpaste

As for toothpaste, store shelves are lined with brands that claim to reduce gingivitis, freshen breath, and whiten teeth. How do you know which one is best for healthy gums? Make sure to choose toothpaste that contains fluoride and has the ADA seal of acceptance. After that, the flavor and color is up to you!

6. Use a therapeutic mouthwash

7 Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy - Use a therapeutic mouthwash

Usually available over the counter, therapeutic mouthwashes can help reduce plaque, prevent or reduce gingivitis, reduce the speed that tarter develops, or a combination of these benefits, according to the ADA. Plus: A rinse helps remove food particles and debris from your mouth, though it’s not a substitute for flossing or brushing. Look for the ADA seal, which means it’s been deemed effective and safe.

It doesn’t matter whether your brush, floss, or rinse first. Just do a good job and use the right products.

7. Get regular dental checkups

Dental checkups typically include a professional cleaning of the mouth. Professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar from the teeth. Professional cleaning can also help eliminate the plaque that a person may have missed when brushing their teeth.

With regular visits, a dentist can help identify the early signs of gum disease and gingivitis, a condition in which the gums become inflamed. Early detection can help prevent more severe problems from occurring.

Diet tips

What a person eats can directly affect the health of their teeth and gums. Different foods can have a positive or negative impact on gum health.

Some of the foods that people should incorporate into their diet include:

  • high-fiber fruits and vegetables, as these can help clean out the mouth
  • black and green teas, which help reduce bacteria
  • dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, as these foods help increase saliva production
  • foods that contain fluoride, which include water and some poultry and seafood products
  • sugar-free gum, as chewing it will increase saliva production

It is best to avoid the following foods and beverages:

  • carbonated soft drinks that contain phosphoric and citric acids as well as sugar
  • alcohol, as it can dry out the mouth
  • sticky candies and sweets that stay in the mouth for a while
  • starchy foods that can become stuck in the teeth
  • Signs and symptoms of unhealthy gums

People should be aware of the signs and symptoms of gum disease. Most gum disease starts with mild symptoms, but it can progress over time.

Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. People with gingivitis may have red, swollen gums that bleed easily. They may also have chronic bad breath.

Gingivitis is a common dental condition that typically occurs without pain or loose teeth. However, proper oral hygiene and dental care can treat and reverse gingivitis.

Untreated gingivitis can turn into periodontitis. This condition develops if plaque and tartar build up under the gumline.

The bacteria in plaque cause gum irritation. Subsequently, the body has an inflammatory response, destroying the tissues and bone that support the teeth.

As periodontitis progresses, this damage worsens, leading to deepening pockets of space between the teeth and the connective tissues.

Periodontitis does not always cause symptoms initially. However, people may notice the following symptoms as the disease progresses:

  • receding gums, which can make the teeth appear longer
  • loose teeth
  • pus between the teeth or at the gumline
  • chronic bad breath
  • bleeding gums
  • red, puffy gums
  • Risk factors to avoid

Several risk factors can elevate a person’s likelihood of developing gum disease. Some of these factors, such as aging, are beyond an individual’s control.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the following are some of the most common risk factors for developing gum disease:

Some diseases that affect the body’s inflammatory system can also increase the risk of gum disease. These diseases include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

When to see a dentist

7 Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy - When to see a dentist

A person should see their dentist if they experience bleeding or pain in their gums that lasts for longer than a week. Swollen and red gums that bleed easily are a symptom of gum disease.

Some other signs and symptoms to look for include:

  • gums that pull back from the teeth
  • gums that bleed easily
  • swollen, red gums
  • sensitive teeth
  • teeth that feel loose in the mouth
  • pain while chewing
  • dentures no longer fitting correctly


Gum disease can lead to tooth loss. However, most people can prevent gum disease by adopting proper oral hygiene practices.

Steps to take include brushing the teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and taking care when rinsing out the mouth. ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste is available to purchase online.

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