Keeping Your Gums In Great Shape

The health of your gums is an important component of your overall oral health. In fact, poor periodontal health can result in the loss of teeth and bone. 

Here are a few things that you can do to keep your gums in great shape. 

Chew Xylitol-sweetened Gum

By chewing sugarless gum, you can keep your mouth cleaner. Gum problems often begin due to gingival inflammation from acid exposure. 

Streptococcus mutans, lactobacillus, and other bacteria in the mouth produce oral acids. The acids are released as waste products when the bacteria feed.

As sugarless gum pulls edible debris from your teeth and soft tissues, it reduces the amount of food that is available to oral microbes. Thus, it reduces the amount of acid that is produced. 

Xylitol, which is a natural sweetener that is commonly used in sugar-free products, is frequently included as an ingredient in sugarless gum. Unlike sugar, which provides food for oral bacteria, xylitol is actually anti-bacterial. 

Use an Oral Irrigation Device

An oral irrigator is a device that flushes plaque and food particles from the teeth as well as along and below the gum line. Each oral irrigator includes a wand that releases a stream of water. The stream is concentrated and may even pulsate. 

Since plaque contains oral bacteria and bits of food, it increases the production of acid in the mouth. Additionally, plaque coats the gums and teeth, so as the bacteria in the plaque produce acid, the acid is in immediate contact with the gums. As a result, the inflammation from the plaque-induced acid may be more severe. 

Oral irrigators remove plaque that is above and below the gum line. The removal of plaque from below the gum line is particularly important because as bacteria invade the spaces between the gums and the teeth, a gum infection can develop and spread to the jawbone.

Additionally, the pulsating action of the water stream from an oral irrigator massages the gums to encourage good gingival circulation. As a result, the irrigator promotes periodontal health.

Oral irrigators may be particularly beneficial if you wear braces or other orthodontic appliances that could make the use of traditional string floss difficult. Oral irrigators can also make it easier to clean around prosthetic devices, such as dental implants and dental bridges, lessening the chances of gum inflammation around the devices. 

For more ways to maintain or improve the health of your gums, schedule a consultation with a periodontist in your local area, such as those at New England Dental Specialists of Norwood