Why Gum Health Matters

Why Gum Health Matters

Gingivitis and periodontitis are two forms of gum disease that can occur as a result of bacterial accumulation. While gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can be resolved with treatment, periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease that has no cure. Once infected with periodontitis, the only way to slow the progression of the disease is to manage the condition according to your dentist’s instructions. 

Many people tend to downplay the health of their gums and focus solely on the health of their teeth. However, your gum health directly affects your teeth and vice versa. While taking care of your teeth is certainly important, it is also necessary to take care of your gums as well. The health of your gums is more important than you may think. Here are some reasons why gum health matters: 

Reduces Bad Breath

Nobody likes being around someone with bad breath. Bad breath, more formally known as halitosis, is caused by bacteria that produce foul odors. Without proper oral hygiene, excess bacteria can accumulate in dental plaque along the gum line, on the tongue, and in between teeth. Generally speaking, the more bacteria, the worse the odor. 

Prevents Tooth Sensitivity

exposed tooth roots shown with holes to explain tooth sensitivity

Healthy gums are firmly attached to the teeth and serve as protective barriers between the tooth roots and external stimuli. However, when bacteria accumulate along the gum line, this causes the gums to become inflamed and pull away from the bacteria. This also causes the gums to pull away from the teeth and expose the roots in a process known as gum recession. Tooth roots do not have the same amount of protective layer as the crown and exposed tooth roots are generally accompanied by tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet. 

Preserves Bone Mass

As periodontitis progresses, the bones around the teeth begin to deteriorate. This results in teeth that become loose and can eventually fall out. Even teeth that don’t fall out may eventually need to be extracted. While preventing gum disease is the best way to prevent this, if you already have gum disease, managing it is the next best thing. 

Supports Dental Restorations

gum recession showing dental implant

There are a number of dental restorations that rely on healthy gum tissue for their success including crowns, bridges, dental implants, and veneers. Although crowns, bridges, and veneers are cemented in place and dental implants are supported by the jawbone, the gums still help provide additional support for these restorations. The gum tissue also covers the area where the restoration meets either the tooth or the gums and prevents bacteria from accumulating there. Ultimately, patients with healthy gums have a better chance of restoration success, while those with gum disease may need to take additional precautions to avoid restoration failure. 

Increases the Aesthetics of Your Smile

Healthy gums have a light pink appearance and tightly contour around the teeth, which is aesthetically pleasing. Gums that are infected with gum disease, on the other hand, have a much less desirable look. For starters, infected gums can be red, swollen, or even bleeding. Additionally, gum recession can make your teeth look excessively large or unevenly sized. 

Affects Your Overall Health

There have been many studies that confirm your oral health directly affects your overall health, and these studies also suggest a strong correlation between gum disease and certain medical conditions. Unmanaged gum disease has been found to contribute to the following: diabetes, stroke, lung problems, heart disease, and pregnancy complications. 

Dr. Sadati standing in his practice

Dr. Sadati possesses extensive experience in all aspects of advanced restorative dentistry, with an emphasis in cosmetic and implant dentistry.  He has attained Accredited Fellow status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the most rigorous, demanding credentialing process in the world. He is the only AACD Accredited Fellow in South Florida.