Although most people don't realize it, your gums are a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to a healthy smile. Keeping your teeth clean, white, and healthy is important, but the gums provide the support and protection your teeth need to stay that way. Here are a few of the things healthy gums can do for your teeth.
One of the most important roles gum tissue offers is providing a support system for your teeth. Healthy gum tissue should be pink, firm, and durable, and it should keep your teeth in their proper positions. Healthy gum tissue creates a tight cuff around the teeth, allowing them to move ever-so-slightly, while simultaneously providing them with incredibly strong support.
When plaque and tartar are allowed to build on teeth, they harbor massive amounts of bacteria, which produce toxins as they feed and multiply. Unfortunately, gum tissue can become inflamed when exposed to these toxins, and it can actually start to pull away from the teeth, creating gingival pockets. When gum tissue recedes, the teeth can become loose because that support system disappears.
The visible portions of your teeth, also referred to as the “crowns,” are covered with a generous layer of enamel. However, the roots of your teeth don't have as thick of a layer of enamel, which means they are more prone to sensitivity. Gum tissue also completely covers and protects your roots, providing cushioning and coverage for these more sensitive portions of your teeth. Receding gum tissue tied to gum disease or periodontitis can leave your roots exposed, and patients with gum recession often have issues eating hot, cold, or acidic foods. If periodontitis becomes severe, the gum tissue can even recede enough to completely expose dental roots, causing teeth to look terrible or even fall out.
When gum disease creates gingival pockets around the teeth, it makes it very difficult to keep your teeth clean and sanitary. Food particles and bacteria can start to take shelter in these pockets, creating ever-present bad breath and cavities below the gum line. However, focusing on keeping your gums healthy can make your smile easy to care for, because you can continue to brush and floss your teeth without worrying about gingival pockets.
Your gums are one of the most important supporting structures in your mouth. When they are unhealthy, your teeth are also at risk.Request an Appointment
Another key role of gum tissue is providing a barrier between your mouth and your jawbone, blood stream, and the rest of your body. Gum tissue that is healthy and strong keeps bacteria from attacking your jawbone, where it can cause bone loss and ultimately change your face shape. Healthy gums also help in keeping oral bacteria from entering your bloodstream, where they may contribute to many serious health conditions.
Healthy gum tissue creates an aesthetically pleasing smile by framing the teeth, making your smile look more natural, even, and healthy. However, when gum tissue starts to react with the toxins bacteria creates, it can recede, turn red, and bleed easily--none of which is flattering to your pearly whites.
To keep your entire mouth healthy and strong, the American Academy of Periodontology recommends visiting a periodontist like Dr. Edwards once a year for a Comprehensive Periodontal Exam, or CPE. During a CPE, Dr. Edwards will carefully examine your teeth, gums, bone structure, and bite to check for any issues. He will also study your medical history and talk with you about your lifestyle habits to determine your risk factors for gum disease. If you haven't had a CPE before, or it is simply time to schedule your next visit. contact Implant Dentistry and Periodontics to make an appointment with Dr. Edwards today.