How to Have Healthy Gums

Spread the love

20150414_082901I recently had our entire family in to the dentist for check-ups, and some of us came back with less than stellar reports. The dentist kept reminding me how important it is to floss to avoid cavities and also to maintain good gum health.

Healthy gums are really the cornerstone of a healthy mouth.  According to the American Dental Association, almost 50% of Americans suffer from gum disease. Good oral hygiene, eating the right foods, and using supplements or supplement-enriched dental products can help keep gums – and us – healthy and happy.

Risk factors include:

Heredity
Smoking
Diabetes
Stress
Immune deficiencies
Defective fillings or bridges
Pregnancy and oral contraceptives
Dry mouth
Poor dental hygiene habits

Gum disease starts as gingivitis and can lead to periodontitis. Plaque forms on teeth and gums daily, and if it is not removed, it hardens into tartar. Gingivitis begins when bacteria feeding on tartar cause infection where our gums attach to our teeth. Left untreated, gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, in which pockets of infection form between gums and teeth. The infection gradually breaks down the tissue and bones holding our teeth in place, making gum disease the main cause of tooth loss. Worse, recent studies suggest possible links between advanced gum disease and medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and stomach cancer.

There are some signs and early symptoms to check for, including:

Changes in gum appearance – redness, shininess, or puffiness
Frequent gum bleeding while brushing or flossing
Constant bad breath
• Metallic taste in the mouth
• Tooth sensitivity or looseness
• Painful chewing
• Receding gums

The first line of defense is daily dental hygiene. Developing healthy dental habits is as simple as forming a regular routine, especially for young children.

Brush the teeth and tongue twice a day, and floss.
When flossing, make sure that you wrap the floss around the tooth and not just slide it in-between.
Develop a routine to cover every surface of each tooth. My dentist recommends an electric tooth brush, and to go over each tooth.
Pay special attention to the gum line where plaque and tartar form.
Use a soft-bristled brush and non-fraying floss that won’t scratch the surface of the gums, allow bacteria to enter, or cause receding gums.

What you eat also plays an important role in maintaining a healthy smile. Not only will the following foods help with gum health, they also do a body good!

Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as fatty fish, fish oil, and flaxseed) to reduce inflammatory response.
Snack on crunchy vegetables and fruits with the skin intact, to scrub off plaque.
Foods like dairy, meat, and nuts are high in calcium and phosphorus and may help remineralize teeth and bones.
Avoid tooth-unfriendly foods high in sugars, simple carbohydrates, or stickiness, such as candy, baked goods, sweetened soft drinks, fruit juices, and dried fruit.

Supplements can also help support gum health. Studies have shown that people with lower dietary intakes of vitamin C, flavonoids, and beta carotene had higher incidences of periodontal disease. Other supplements and herbal preparations show promise in promoting gum health, targeting bad bacteria, reducing inflammation, or remineralizing teeth and bone when ingested or applied topically. A natural health care practitioner can help determine which supplements are best for you. Options include:

Probiotics
Combination of calcium and vitamin D
Omega-3s
Coenzyme Q10

Rinses containing herbs and essential oils may help reduce plaque and gingivitis. Pathway GUM TONIC is a comprehensive mouth rinse that supports healthy oral hygiene. Swollen, bleeding, and receding gums may find benefit from this comprehensive herbal mouth wash. Pathway GUM TONIC strengthens gum tissue with its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. It also supports the production of saliva. Ingredients include goldenseal root, bayberry root bark, prickly ash bark, myrrh gum, and coptis root.

Our Bloggers

  • Paula Gallagher
    Paula Gallagher
    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
    read more..
  • Margo Gladding
    Margo Gladding
    Margo's impressive knowledge base is the result of a unique blend of educational and professional experience.
    read more..
  • Dr. Neal Barnard
    Dr. Neal Barnard
    Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
    read more..
  • Joseph Pizzorno
    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
    read more..
  • Debi Silber
    Debi Silber
    Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
    read more..
  • Teri Cochrane
    Teri Cochrane
    Teri is a is a Certified Coach Practitioner with extensive certifications and experience in holistic medicinal practices.
    read more..
  • Dr. Rav Ivker
    Dr. Rav Ivker
    Dr. Rav Ivker is a holistic family physician, health educator, and best-selling author.
    read more..
  • Susan Levin
    Susan Levin
    Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
    read more..
  • Rob Brown
    Dr. Rob Brown
    Dr. Brown's blended perspective of healthcare includes a deeply rooted passion for wellness and spiritual exploration.
    read more..
May 2015
S M T W T F S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31