When you talk about oral health, you probably think first of all about keeping your teeth clean, and then maybe about cosmetic issues like broken and chipped teeth or cracked tooth enamel.
But the importance of good gum health should not be overlooked! In fact, in the long term, it can have a significant effect on keeping your teeth looking good and in place for longer.
Your mouth is a complex ecosystem, with all sorts of good and bad bacteria present. Like any natural system, it’s essential to keep things in balance.
The different tissues in your mouth – your teeth, gums, jaw, and accompanying saliva that is a constant in your mouth and throat – help achieve this by combating the bad bacteria and creating a healthy home for the good bacteria.
Healthy gums are crucial to this, as they form the last line of defence to prevent unwelcome bacteria from getting into the roots of your teeth.
Consequences of bad gum health
If you let your gums get into bad condition, you could be at increased risk of conditions ranging from bad breath to tooth loss.
Common conditions such as gingivitis, tooth decay/loss, traditional toothache and even wisdom tooth problems have roots in poor gum health.
When brushing, and if you have crowded teeth, in particular, try to brush vertically instead of horizontally. This ensures that your gums are not missed in the brushing process.
Some even worse conditions have been linked with advanced periodontal disease, including raised cardiovascular risk and mental processing problems in the elderly.
We must stress that the above is in severe cases of poor gum health, which are very rare. We’re not here to frighten you at Smiles & More; we want to help!
Early periodontal disease can be difficult to spot, so it’s crucial to maintain good gum health at all times – you could be in the early stages of gum disease without knowing.
Oral healthcare professionals estimate that nearly half of people in their 30s and seven in ten retirees could have some degree of periodontal disease, so don’t assume you’re not affected.
How to maintain good gum health with dentures
If you have full or partial dentures, make sure you stick to a good regime both for your own oral hygiene and when cleaning your false teeth – twice a day, ideally!
Use a suitable cleaning solution or denture ‘toothpaste’ daily to keep your false teeth free from bacteria.
Many mainstream supermarkets now sell denture ‘toothpaste’. However, if you’re unsure which product is right for you and your dentures, visit your local pharmacist or pop into Smiles & More. We’ll be able to help you find the best product for your denture cleaning routine.
Clean your own remaining teeth in the usual way. If you have gaps, bridges or implant-retained dentures, interdental brushes and picks can help to retrieve tiny specks of food residue.
If you’re in any doubt – especially when getting new dentures fitted – ask your clinical dental clinician, who will be able to give some tips on best practices for cleaning and care of your new dentures.
Gary and the team at Smiles & More can provide expert denture care in the form of regular denture checks and refitting and repairing appointments. You will need a dentist to check your remaining teeth and gums; it’s up to you to do the rest!
At Smiles & More, we welcome any questions as part of our aftercare service for patients, as we want to make sure your mouth – and your smile – stay in good health for as long as possible!