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All About Gums—And Not The Chewing Kind!

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You see them every time you smile, you feel them when you don't necessarily feel your teeth, and they are just as much a part of everyday oral care as anything else in your mouth. Your gums are a vital part of your smile's overall structure, and taking care of your gums is highly important. Yet, a lot of people are a little confused about their gums and how they work or what attention they need. Here are a few of the most common questions about gums and the answers you should know. 

Do your gums ever grow back if they recede?

Receding gums are a problem for people who develop gum disease or sometimes a problem for people as they get older because the gum tissue softens slightly and diminishes. However, periodontal disease can also cause receding gums, and unfortunately, that receded gum tissue does not grow back. The only time your gums would grow back is if it was part of normal tissue growth. For example, if you have a dental implant placed in healthy gums, the soft tissue will eventually enclose around that new tooth.  

What is the best way to make sure your gums stay healthy?

Keeping your gums healthy is pretty easy if you keep your teeth healthy. Healthy gums will be a bright pinkish color most of the time. They will also be fairly firm and not bleed unless you really give them a good jab with your toothbrush. Keeping your gums healthy means you should:

  • Brush your teeth regularly and use dental floss between your teeth
  • Get regular cleanings at the dentist office
  • Avoid smoking and smokeless tobacco products
  • Steer clear of acidic or sugary drinks

Also, make sure you pay attention to your gums. If a small spot comes up that is tender and sore, talk to your dentist. Sometimes, small problems that grow into major issues can be avoided with proactive care and attention. 

How serious is it if you have gum disease?

Having gum disease means you have a chronic problem with the health of the soft tissues of your mouth. In some cases, gum disease can be cured completely. For example, if you have gingivitis, proper oral care, regular cleaning, and sometimes oral medications in the form of mouth rinses can get rid of the problem. Untreated, however, gum disease can be a serious thing because it can cause your teeth to get loose and be more prone to damage. Talk to a dentist for more help.