When patients are asked what makes a smile beautiful, they often say the teeth. However, there is another component to a beautiful smile that many patients may overlook: the gums. Pink, healthy gums can frame the smile and protect the roots of the teeth, keeping the teeth in place along with the bone of the jaw. The gums cushion the teeth against chewing and biting forces. This tissue is created of tiny fibers and a mucus layer that keep them attractive and moisturized. If patients have certain conditions, such as periodontal disease, they may notice changes to their gums, including gum recession and the formation of gum pockets between the tissues and the teeth. These pockets can harbor bacteria and increase one’s risk of infection.
What can we do to keep the gums healthy?
If gum tissue is so important, how do we keep them healthy? This is a common question asked by the patients who visit the practice of Dr. Heather F. Fleschler of Houston, TX. She provides the following recommendations for maintaining healthy gums:
- Brush both the teeth and the gums gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush after every meal
- Floss between teeth to keep food particles from piercing the gum tissues
- Drink plenty of water to flush away sugars and acids from the surfaces of the teeth and gums after meals
- Avoid the use of tobacco, including chewing tobacco and cigarettes, which can contribute to inflammation of the gum tissues
- Visit the dentist twice a year, and call for an appointment anytime changes occur
Are you worried about your gums?
Patients in the area of Houston, TX who are experiencing changes to the appearance of the gums, or problems with increased swelling and bleeding, should visit the practice of Dr. Heather F. Fleschler to get a proper diagnosis of their condition. If periodontal disease is to blame, early detection and treatment is vital to maintaining the health of the smile. Call (713) 660-6500 to book an appointment at 5252 Westchester Street, Suite #200 and find out more about how to care for and protect your gums and teeth from permanent, irreversible damage.