With all the recent focus on dental health and its relationship to overall physical health, it can be easy to view the teeth as the most important component. Many oral hygiene products focus on your enamel, and while it certainly does need attention, it’s not the only part of your mouth that does. Gum health plays just as significant a role in oral health — and in some cases, it’s even more important.
Studies have shown that gum health is directly related to healthy blood sugar levels. Diabetics who were able to manage and control their glucose levels also had healthy gums. Conversely, people with poor gum health were less likely to be in control of their blood sugar levels, diabetic or otherwise.
The link between gum health and heart disease is still under investigation, but it’s been suspected for years. In fact, a standard procedure before many heart surgeries used to be a dental inspection, to make sure there was no gum infection that might spread to the vulnerable heart during surgery. This practice is currently being revised, but the link remains.
And naturally, the health of your gums is certainly related to the health of your teeth. The gums act as sheaths for the sensitive roots of your teeth. Periodontis (or gum disease) can cause your gums to recede, exposing the roots to possible infection and damage.
At-home care is still the best daily defense against gum disease, including a regimen of flossing, brushing, and even scaling and picking for those ambitious souls. And since gum disease can take hold without you feeling any discomfort, be sure to visit your dentist regularly (every six months) to check for problems. And here’s to your gum health! Continue reading here.