Red and swollen gums are a sign that something is wrong with your mouth. Find out how to prevent this, and other common problems as poor oral health can affect the rest of your body.
Protecting the gums is not just a matter of aesthetics or insurance to avoid losing teeth. The diseases that affect them can damage the heart or lower your defenses if you do not remedy them.
Gum disease is one of the problems that most worries dentists. However, there is a tendency not to give greater importance to the symptoms unless they cause pain or spoil the smile for a mere aesthetic matter.
Keep in mind that the gums line the dental alveoli (or areas where the teeth are inserted) and the lower part of the teeth, serving as support. And if they get sick, the whole mouth is in danger, so do not dismiss any indication that may appear.
Therefore, if you notice soft, red, or bleeding gums; or lose teeth that fit differently when biting or lousy breath is continuous, go to a dental clinic.
THE MOUTH AND ITS ENEMIES
The mouth is full of bacteria and in permanent contact with food so, if it is not kept clean, the residues accumulate on the teeth forming hard deposits (the so-called “tartar” or dental plaque) that can cause the two most common disorders. Common.
If the dirt remains on the teeth and gums, the brush is unable to remove it and, if we do not put a solution, it begins to enter between both areas, damaging and inflaming the gum, which is known as gingivitis.
In principle, it is a mild inflammation that can be cured with proper tooth brushing and flossing daily, along with antiseptic mouthwashes and cleaning at the hygienist. It doesn’t have to cause symptoms, but it sometimes causes bleeding or pain.
If tartar is not treated correctly, the initial mild inflammation can lead to periodontitis or pyorrhea. This second stage of inflammation is essential since dirt gets into the root of the tooth and, if it evolves, destroys the bone that holds it, causing it to fall.
The damage is irreversible, but it is necessary to quickly avoid a massive loss of pieces (advanced periodontitis). Even research points to more incredible difficulty in maintaining adequate glucose levels in patients with periodontitis.
THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE TEETH AND OTHER ORGANS
If gum disease is not treated quickly and adequately, periodontal conditions can progress and seriously damage other organs, as several studies indicate.
- The heart can be damaged from advanced gum disease. The heart valves become infected, and bacterial endocarditis occurs; in these cases, the blood does not circulate normally and, when it does, it carries the bacteria to other distant areas such as the kidneys or the liver, which also end up becoming ill.
- The immune system can also be altered, and when this happens, it does not perform its defense function well, and more infections are contracted.
- Other studies speak of a higher birth of premature and low birth weight in mothers with gum disease.
KEEP YOUR GUMS HEALTHY
Taking care of the mouth daily is the best guarantee so that the gums do not get sick, and it must be done from a young age. Take note of the advice of the Anefp (Association for Self-care of Health), and you will ensure a healthy mouth.
Brushing is essential: although it sounds obvious, it is the necessary step to ward off disorders. You have to brush your teeth after each meal, at least three times a day, and for about 2 minutes to remove all the food that may remain. It is preferable to use a paste with fluoride to avoid cavities (antibacterial) and tooth sensitivity. Brushing should not be rough so as not to damage the gums.
For this, the brush filaments should be fine and of a soft or medium consistency to reach everywhere without causing injuries. The brush should be used with an inclination of 45 degrees between tooth and gum, making small circular movements in each piece and insisting on the union.
FOODS THAT PROTECT ORAL HEALTH
On the other hand, keep in mind that there are foods that protect oral health and others that harm it:
- Coffee, tea, wine and cola drinks, chocolate, beets, and other foods with a high level of dyes, whether artificial or natural, can stain the tooth and give it a yellowish tone.
- Acidic foods and soft drinks also damage enamel if they are abused.
- Sugar makes it easier for bacterial plaque to build up, so you have to brush your teeth after eating it.
- Chewing raw foods like vegetables and fruits is good because it stimulates teeth and gums.
Vitamins A and C help keep gums from bleeding, and foods with calcium make teeth stronger.
SO YOU CAN STRENGTHEN THE GUMS
There are eucalyptus or peppermint tonic oils with antiseptic properties that activate blood flow in the mouth if applied after brushing. It is done with the finger directly massaging the gums. Exercises with the mouth making a light bite several times a day also reinforce them by increasing circulation in the area.
Regarding the choice of brush, it is as effective electric as manual. It is essential to renew it every 2 or 3 months (if it is electric, the head is changed). After brushing, you can use dental floss or a mini interdental brush to remove the plaque that remains between the teeth.
There are also specific brushes for the surface of the tongue. For a fresher mouth and more excellent disinfection, use it once or twice a day, better when you get up and go to bed. Discard those that carry chlorhexidine; they can color the tooth surface.
AVOID EVERYTHING THAT DAMAGES THE GUMS
There are people with a greater predisposition to have problems due to a genetic issue (also cancer, AIDS, or diabetic patients), but several factors are in your hands to control.
- Tobacco is directly related to oral problems since it is made up of harmful substances that promote tartar and the accumulation of bacteria.
- The hormonal changes of pregnancy or menopause weaken the gums and make them more prone to diseases, so a visit to the dentist is almost mandatory in these stages.
- Stress can make us clench our teeth hard without realizing it and even damage them.
- Medications such as oral contraceptives or corticosteroids also promote gum disease. Others reduce saliva, which predisposes to infections since this is key to protecting the mouth.