Article at a Glance
- September is National Gum Care Month.
- Keeping your gums healthy is important to your overall health because gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
- Your diet can have an impact on your gum health. Make sure you eat plenty of fiber-rich foods to clean your teeth.
- Adding some natural remedies to your daily routine may help soothe inflamed gums until you can see your dentist.
September is National Gum Care Month and a good time to evaluate your gum health.
If your gums are pink and firm, you’ll want to keep them that way by maintaining good oral care. Take a moment to educate yourself on the best ways to avoid gum disease!
Tips for Healthy Gums
Keeping your gums healthy is important for your overall health, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time from your day. Minor changes or additions to your daily routine can make a big difference.
- Brush your teeth properly at least twice a day, and preferably after you eat. It’s best to wait half an hour to allow enamel to re-harden after exposure to acidic foods.
- Always floss to ensure you’re reaching areas between teeth where tartar can build up.
- Add a mouthwash to your daily routine. Rinsing with antiseptic mouthwash helps kill plaque-causing bacteria. Make sure you follow the instructions on the label because some mouthwashes need to be diluted.
- Get a new toothbrush every three months or after you’ve been sick. Broken bristles aren’t effective at removing buildup.
- If you smoke, quit. Not only does tobacco increase your chances of developing gum disease, it also weakens your immune system.
Good Food for Healthy Gums
Not all foods are created equal. Starchy and sugary foods can leave behind residue that creates a hotspot for bacteria to grow. Choose foods that are better for your teeth and gums, especially if you won’t be able to brush immediately after eating.
- Apples are tasty, but they are also great for gums! They keep you chewing which cleans your teeth and stimulates saliva production.
- Look for fiber-rich foods to help clean your mouth. Try blackberries, strawberries, bananas, avocados, carrots, and cauliflower.
- Incorporate black and/or green teas into your diet to reduce bacteria in your mouth.
How to Strengthen Gums Naturally
If you’re looking for home remedies for strengthening gums, there are some options that may help. While none of these are substitutes for good oral care routines, you may see some benefits.
- Oil pulling may reduce plaque and prevent the buildup of certain bacteria.
- Eucalyptus oil has been found to help receding gums and encourage new gum tissue to grow.
- Salt rinses are often effective in soothing irritated or inflamed gums.
- Peppermint, thyme, and tea tree oils may prevent the growth of bacteria and other disease-causing organisms.
- Omega-3 fatty acids have been noted to strengthen gum-to-tooth connections, soothe inflamed gums, and may prevent chronic periodontitis.
- Turmeric is often used to reduce inflammation and act as an antioxidant.
- A hydrogen peroxide rinse (¼ cup water mixed with ¼ cup of three percent hydrogen peroxide) may soothe inflamed gums.
What to do if You Have Symptoms of Gum Disease
Perhaps you’ve noticed some tenderness, redness, or swelling along your gums. Or, maybe you have a little bleeding when you brush or that your gums are receding a bit. These are signs of early gum disease, but you can still turn things around. There are things you can do to prevent gum disease and get your gums back to being healthy.
- Follow a good oral care routine that involves brushing and flossing daily.
- Eat a diet rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin K that help strengthen soft tissues like your gums.
- Visit your dentist every six months for a check-up and professional teeth cleaning.
- See your dentist as soon as possible if you notice bleeding or pain in your gums that lasts for more than a week.
Our Jefferson Dental Content Committee supports our team by educational and informational articles related to what we do, oral care tips, and current events in our communities.