Tickets For Sale: The Gum Show, Dental Health Beyond A Pretty Smile

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The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry conducted a survey that found more than half of adults above the age of 50 believe smiles remain the most attractive feature as they age. Cosmetic dentists, emergency dentists, and family dental practices alike would agree that a healthy smile is important for your health and confidence. However, a lot of people think very tooth centric and aren't as concerned about the surrounding areas.


We're talking gums. Regardless of age, gums remain one of the most important, yet rarely addressed parts of dental health. Welcome to the gum show.


What you stand to gain


Gums are the foundation of your teeth. They surround the roots and deep bone that keep all of your teeth in place. Keeping the foundation of anything strong is vital to its support. Your teeth take some serious abuse every single day and they remain the stars of the show. Gums are the soft-spoken supporting role, without which your teeth would be unstable and unable to do their job.


What you stand to lose


Gum disease -- periodontitis -- is a chief reason for emergency dentistry. It's the leading cause of tooth loss among adults and carries other associated health risks to boot. From mild gum irritation and swelling to complete dissolution of bone support, gum disease is an avoidable plague on your pearly whites. Aside from your smile, periodontitis has known associations with heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illness. 


Fight with your big gums


In the battle against gum disease, your habits are crucial. Fortunately, they're much the same as regular oral health habits. Brush, floss, and rinse regularly. Use soft-bristle toothbrushes and don't merely focus on the teeth; massage your gums and brush your tongue, too. Bacteria build up on your tongue and gums shouldn't be overlooked. 


Your gums can't take the backseat in well-rounded oral health. Habits outside of proper oral care can play a huge role, too. A healthy diet with limited processed sugars and plenty of water and veggies is great for your gums. It'd irresponsible to not mention that sometimes, gums get unhealthy, it's a fact of having a mouth. Keep your dental checkups regular and if you're ever unsure of an aspect of oral health, give your dentist a ring. 

Jeff Raschka