All About Your Gums And Gum Diseases
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All About Your Gums And Gum Diseases

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.

Picture Credit: Commons.Wikimedia.com

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Comments (24)

Great article. Dental hygiene simply and powerfully explained.

Informative article. It is importan to brush your teeth, floss and massage the gums throughout your life.

I was not aware one needed to massage the gums.  Very informative article.

Great article. I need to take our teeth and gums

and I thought it was just about teeth!after reading this article I have fear  so I will take care of my teeth and gumsThanks for sharing this good information

thank you may God bless you it is very help full

Informative and helpful

Thanks for the great article .It was really informative.

Greattttt! This article makes me remember quickly my late old grand mother who after brushing her teeth with a "chewing stick" often sent her fingers in her mouth for a kind of scrubbing. Each time I asked her, she would say "I am doing some rinsing". What a hidden knowledge for excelent health. Dr. JCP, thanks.

Interesting article.  Very important to floss daily and massage the gums, yet so easy to neglect.

Wonderful article on dental heaith and oral hygiene,by Dr. johnson C Philip. It easy said than done many children and adult alike do not know how to clean their gums after eating food.High percentage of infection in kids in the United States comes from improperly care of kids gum. Thanks to your wisdom and insight on this topic many parents will follow the procedure to help their families better their daily hygiene.

Sometimes I do feel pains. Now I think I can help myself a little.

This article has prompted me to care of my gums. Surely, I don't want to develop heart problems or organ-related diseases because of neglected gums. Thanks to the author who enlightens me about the importance of healthy gums.

Thank you for the article. Dental hygiene is needed for overall good health.

Thank you for a highly informative article. Like so many things in life, gum hygiene as an essential part of healthly living needs to be taught in our schools.

Happy smile and confidence comes from good looking strong teeth, that is why dental issues are very important to all.The information provided by Dr. Johnson C Philip cannot be over stated because it life saver itself.

What a wonderful article on dental hygiene.

wonderful article
wonderful article
Great article.Dental issues are very important to our daily livings.
Great article.Dental issues are very important to our daily livings.
Joe Muthoka Thanks for such information. I didn't know gum flossing. Continue educating us
Quite intresting and educating. Thanks Dr. Philip.
Having had a tooth extracted due to an infection inside the gums was a painful enough reminder for me to take better care of my gums.
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