Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Take Care of Your Gums

We learn from a young age how important it is to brush our teeth and keep them healthy. But caring for our gums is equally as important. As we get older, we can lose gum tissue which, besides being unattractive, can result in oral health complications such as exposure of the roots of your teeth, cavities, sore gums, sensitive teeth, bad breath and even tooth loss.

Receding gums (or gingival recession) is a common dental problem that is most often caused by using hard-bristled toothbrushes (a condition called toothbrush abrasion) and chronic gum disease.

The solution is simple for aggressive brushers: change your toothbrush to a softer variety and reconsider your style of brushing. Rather than scrubbing in a side-to-side motion, the Canadian Dental Association recommends brushing gently at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, using a circular motion.

Gum disease is another matter. When you don’t brush and floss properly, over time it can lead to infection at the gum line. At this point, you may only notice red, bleeding gums when you brush. But over time, the infection breaks down the gum tissue where the teeth attach, called “attachment loss”. Gums begin to pull away from the teeth and that’s when you’ll experience symptoms.

Good dental habits and regular dental checkups can often stop the onset or catch this problem in the earlier stages. If you’re concerned about the health of your gums, talk to your dentist.

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