While oral health and hygiene is something that needs to be paid attention to, not a lot of people take it seriously. It should be noted that the health of the teeth and gums is linked to the overall health of a person.
Speaking of gums, Dr Ashok B K, senior research scientist, Himalaya Wellness Company, says that even if one has a cavity-free mouth, the gums may be at risk of periodontal diseases.
“Gum diseases can range from mild gingivitis and periodontitis to advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis refers to the common and mild form of gum disease (periodontitis) and it causes redness, irritation, bleeding and swelling of the gum around the base of your teeth,” he explains.
“Periodontitis, on the other hand, is a chronic infection that affects the soft tissues of the gum and can damage the bone that supports your teeth,” he adds.
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According to the doctor, these signs can help one identify gum problems in the initial stages:
– Gum discoloration: This is when we can see a change in the original gum color (pink); if your gums look white, bright red or black, it could be a sign of gum disease.
– Gum irritation: A sharp burning sensation/irritation occurs when you eat, or when your gums encounter food.
– Gum tenderness: If upon a slight touch with the finger or bristles, the gum aches and eventually bleeds, it is a sign of problems.
The doctor says that since gums support the teeth and keep the roots of the teeth from cavities, taking care of them is critical. He shares the following tips:
1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day to prevent dental cavities, tooth sensitivity, and plaque formation. It is important to brush for about 2-3 minutes, spending 30 seconds in each area of your mouth, and making sure you are actively brushing each tooth. Selecting a toothpaste with natural fluoride and astringent and bitter herbs like neem, pomegranate, triphala, and clove is important.
2. Practise oral swishing using an herbal/medicated mouthwash, as it can go into the crevices and soft tissue of the mouth. Choose mouthwashes that come with the goodness of neem, pomegranate, meswak, and menthol. They can provide complete protection for cleaner, healthier gums and teeth.
3. Gently massaging your gums can help in keeping them healthy. You can use a gel with astringent herbs like Indian kino tree and triphala that prevent gum bleeding.
4. A traditional method like oil pulling is also known to be effective in strengthening the teeth, gums, and jaw. Any other medicated oil can be used. Oil pulling helps reduce plaque buildup and protects the gums against gingivitis.
5. Stop smoking, as it is not only bad for your lungs and heart but also your teeth and gums.
6. Consume a balanced and nutritious diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and grains. This will help improve dental and overall health.
7. Visit your dentist at least once a year, even if you have dentures.