When most people think about their oral health, they tend to only focus on their teeth. However, there is so much more to think about, like the gums. The health of your gums plays a crucial part in your dental and overall health. Here are just a few of the reasons why your gum health is so important and what you can do to maintain it.
Keep Your Teeth in Place
The gums play a very important role in your mouth: they keep your teeth in their rightful place. Even if your teeth are in perfect condition, you still need healthy gums to support them. The gums also function as a seal around the teeth. They protect the more sensitive parts of the teeth that are located inside of them. When bacteria sits on the teeth and gums, pockets form in the gum tissue that provides a place for plaque to remain hidden. As the gums continue to break down and erode, the sensitive part of the teeth becomes exposed, causing loose teeth and cavities.
Whole Body Health
When the gums are inflamed, it makes it easier for the bacteria in your mouth to reach your bloodstream. This leaves your body open to all sorts of infections. Research has even proven a link between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Consider using an antibacterial mouthwash to get rid of bad bacteria, reduce the risk of gingivitis, and keep you healthier overall.
Lower Heart Disease
There have been multiple studies that show a link between gum disease and cardiovascular issues like stroke and heart disease. Some studies even indicate that gum health is a good predictor of overall heart health. Though experts are not sure why this is, there is an undeniable link between heart attack, stroke, and gum disease.
New research suggests that healthy gums may point to a better memory. The report, which was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, suggested that those with healthier gums performed better on memory tests. The participants who had gingivitis tended to perform worse on the test.
How to Keep Your Gums Healthy
Now that you know why having healthy gums is so crucial, let’s learn about a few ways you can keep your gums healthy. One of the best ways to maintain your oral health is by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. This is not only great for your teeth, but for your gums, too. You should also get regular dental checkups and cleanings. A dentist who specializes in cosmetic dentistry near Houston, TX, can remove any plaque and look for the early signs of gum disease. To reduce your risk of gum disease even more, eat a healthy diet and avoid smoking, too.