Gums look like an ordinary organ, but it is so vital an organ that its neglect can lead you to heart problems and even stroke. Unfortunately, most of us brush the teeth but forget massaging the gums and flossing. This can lead to food accumulation, inflammation of gums, and many more serious problems. For many people, restoration to health might be as simple as flossing twice a day.
The world Gum in this article refers to the soft tissues that surround human teeth. While gums form a very important body organ, most people simply neglect it. Most of them are not even aware that here is an organ that needs to be given considerable care.
Gums are important to keep teeth in their place and the teeth anchor to its bony foundation securely through the gum. They are essential not only to give one a good smile, but (unknown to most people) they also play a vital role in one's over-all health and welfare. As a result of this ignorance, as many as 60% or more people in developed countries have some form or other of gum diseases, which is aggravated due to modern foods and food habits.
The most common mouth and teeth problem arise because of food lodged in cavities and gaps between teeth. This food, coupled with the wet atmosphere in one's mouth provides an ideal environment for bacteria to multiply. Food residues in mouth quickly break down into a number of chemical compounds that attack teeth. Though the enamel that covers teeth is known to be one of the hardest substances, slow and steady attack by these chemicals destroys it molecule by molecule and eventually completely destroys this tough shield. Once this happens, your teeth become totally unprotected and susceptible to all kinds of problems.
Gums tightly seal the numerous crevices that are formed by teeth when they join their bony foundation. They also eliminate gaps between teeth and hold the teeth firmly in their place. However, when bacteria proliferate they attack gums and cause inflammation of gums. Known as gingivitis, this can cause bleeding of gums, loosening of teeth in their foundation, and bad breath.
Gingivitis or inflammation of gums is the first stage of gum diseases, and it sets a vicious cycle in motion. Unless it is controlled in time, gums loose their elasticity, recede and create spaces where food particles can get lodged easily. The abundant bacterial colonies in the inflamed gums feed on this food, proliferate further and cause further damage. If it goes unchecked, it leads to a severe problem known as periodontitis (or pyorrhea ).
Unchecked periodontitis causes the accelerated decay and degeneration of gums, and soon the roots of the teeth are exposed. These roots are sealed by gums in a healthy person and this protects from food accumulation and bacterial attack. Once exposed by receding gums, the bacteria and the chemical released by them attack the roots. Eventually the jawbone in which the teeth are embedded start to degenerate. Loss of teeth, accumulation of pus, and foul odor become prominent and eventually a person can reach a stage of non-return when all the teeth and considerable portions of the gums would have to be removed surgically. If not done in time, other organs can get infected soon.
How To Care Of Gums: Brushing the teeth twice a day is the first step. Brushing them with proper strokes is the second step. Most people simply brush back and forth which is simply wrong, whereas they should do it in a manner so that food and plaque lodged between teeth are removed.
Flossing is the second step. It should be done carefully so that the food and plaque lodged between teeth are removed but the gums are not hurt by too much pressure from the floss. Massaging the gums with one's fingers on a regular basis is an important activity. It removes thin films of bacteria and other material that coat the gums and it also stimulates blood flow. This cannot be done by toothbrush because the bristles would harm the gum. Unfortunately, the arrival of toothbrush has made people forget massaging their gums.
Using a mouthwash is recommended if there is oral odor. A non medical mouthwash is sufficient in most cases, but a medicated one becomes necessary in some cases and your dentist will prescribe it when needed.
Gums And Other Diseases: Gums seem like an insignificant organ, but recent studies suggest that they are neglected at great peril. For example, high levels of bacteria found in gums have now been correlated with increased risk of heart diseases and stroke. It has also been found that inflammation of the gums can stimulate inflammation in other parts of the body. Many other surprising correlations seem to be there between unhealthy gums and unhealthy organs. Thus it is vital for each one of us to take care of gums with the realization that a gum destroyed due to carelessness is a life destroyed due to sheer neglect.
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