Healthy gums are an important part of a healthy smile. Gums that are red, swollen, or bleed easily indicate an underlying problem and should be brought to the attention of an experienced dentist as soon as issues occur.

Gum disease is incredibly common, impacting around 80% of American adults at some point in their lives. Many cases are mild and easily treatable with enhanced oral care at home. Others are more serious, leading to risks of chronic halitosis, tooth shifting, gum recession, and tooth loss. What’s more, when allowed to progress, periodontitis (advanced gum disease) can increase the risks of serious medical issues throughout the body, not the least of which is heart disease.

The Forsyth Institute, a Harvard-related, non-profit oral health research organization, reports that gum disease increases the risk of adverse cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke by as much as three times. What they haven’t found is whether or not treating the issue will decrease this risk. That makes prevention the best line of defense.

How to Improve Gum Health

The first step in improving gum health is flossing. This should be done before you brush your teeth both morning and night. Floss removes bacteria, debris, and plaque from in between teeth and below the gum line. Brushing alone will not accomplish this task.

The second step in improving gum health is using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth for at least two minutes after every meal and snack. Brush when you wake and before you go to bed as well (great times to add in flossing) for optimal results.

If you suspect you are developing an infection, you may want to add an antiseptic mouthwash to your daily routine. And if you are a smoker, quitting will be necessary for the full treatment of gum disease. Smoking already impacts heart health and smokers are four to five times more likely to develop periodontitis.

Professional Help

If your gum disease is persistent or fails to respond to at-home treatment, calling our office for a treatment evaluation is your best option. Dr. Tenney offers advanced periodontal treatment options that can help restore comfort and cleanliness to your gums. Give us a call at 602-978-1790 to schedule a treatment consultation and learn more.

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