9 Best Ways to Maintain Healthy Gums (2024)

Healthy gums are a key indicator of your overall health. People tend to focus more on the appearance of their pearly whites and often don't realize that taking care of their gums is just as important.

Poor oral hygiene is one of the leading causes of gum disease. Untreated gum disease can lead to a variety of oral health problems such as tooth decay, tooth loss, bad breath, and bleeding gums.

The CDC reports that 47 percent of adults ages 30 years and older have some form of gum disease. Your chances of getting gum disease only increase as you get older. This is why it's so important to maintain healthy gums.

Oral health conditions are often considered independent issues, however, they're often interrelated. Oral conditions can be linked with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a weak immune system. Thankfully, there are many ways to help prevent and treat gingivitis.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF UNHEALTHY GUMS?

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 adults aged 30 and older have had gingivitis at some point in their lives. It's very common and can happen to people of all ages. If you suspect you may be developing gingivitis, here are some common signs and symptoms.

  • Bleeding gums
  • Inflamed or red gums
  • Receding gums
  • Halitosis (chronic bad breath)
  • Sensitive teeth (sensitivity to hot or cold foods)

GINGIVITIS VS. ADVANCED GUM DISEASE

Early gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is when gum infection, inflammation, and bleeding may occur. Gingivitis is the first form of gum disease, and thankfully it's often reversible and treatable if caught early.

Severe gum disease, also known as periodontitis and periodontal disease is when a more advanced level of damage has occurred to the teeth and gums. This stage requires more intense treatment.

SIGNS OF SEVERE GUM DISEASE (PERIODONTITIS)

Advanced periodontitis is when plaque and tartar have remained on the teeth for long enough to cause deeper issues. At this stage, you may have loose teeth and bone loss. You'll need to meet with your dentist immediately to address this level of gum disease. Your dentist may need to perform a gingivectomy, root canal, tooth extraction, or gum surgery to get you back to having healthy gums.

Here are some common signs and symptoms of advanced gum disease:

  • Loose teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Deep gum pockets
  • Black or dark red gums
  • Newly crooked teeth
  • Painful chewing
  • Intense jaw pain
  • Abscess or pus on the gums

HEALTHY GUMS VS. UNHEALTHY GUMS

HEALTHY GUMS

Healthy gums are firm, pink, and even colored. They're snug around the teeth and do not bleed or become red and irritated easily when flossing or brushing. The gum tissue and teeth are not overly sensitive when it comes to hot or cold foods and drinks. Healthy gums also have a natural and neutral odor. If you're diligent about practicing good oral health care, your gums are most likely in great condition.

UNHEALTHY GUMS

Unhealthy gums may experience redness or soreness and bleed easily when brushing or flossing. These are the early stages of gingivitis. If you have more advanced gum disease, you may also have chronic bad breath, gum pockets, or loose teeth. If caught early, it's possible to reverse the signs of gingivitis with a good oral health routine and help from a dental professional.

WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS OF GUM DISEASE?

There are several habits and lifestyle factors that increase your risk of periodontal disease. The chances of developing decay and gum disease greatly increase if you take certain medications, have a compromised immune system, or indulge in gum-damaging habits.

RISK FACTORS OF GUM DISEASE:

  • Diabetes
  • Dry mouth
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Chronic stress
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Immunodeficiencies (i.e: cancer, disease, etc)
  • Certain medications

People with gum disease also have a higher risk of heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and inflammation.

HOW TO MAINTAIN HEALTHY GUMS

Having healthy gums isn't all about aesthetics, your gum health and oral hygiene habits play into your overall health. When you keep your gums healthy, you reduce several risk factors for gum disease. Gum disease starts when bacteria builds in your mouth. Here are some key ways to maintain healthy gums.

PRACTICE GOOD ORAL HYGIENE

Healthy gums start with a strong oral health routine. Brushing regularly protects your teeth and gums from building plaque and disease-causing bacteria. Neglected food debris can lead to more gum problems, advanced periodontitis, and an unhealthy gum line.

A good routine consists of daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush twice a day to prevent gum disease and dental caries. Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle and gently brush back and forth. Switch up the angles to get different parts of your teeth and gums.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT TOOTHBRUSH

When you're shopping for a toothbrush, a soft-bristled toothbrush is best for healthy gums. A softer toothbrush is gentle for sensitive gums but still gets stubborn food particles off of your teeth.

If you tend to build up plaque and tartar more easily, an electric toothbrush is more effective. The fast vibration and oscillation of an electric toothbrush works better at removing debris compared to a manual toothbrush.

USE A GOOD TOOTHPASTE

Maintain your healthy gums with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a mineral that is also known as nature's cavity fighter. It helps rebuild (remineralize) weak tooth enamel, may reverse early tooth decay and helps prevent gum disease.

If you're sensitive to fluoride toothpaste, there are plenty of fluoride-free options as well. They clean your teeth just as effectively and promote healthy gums.

FLOSS DAILY

Flossing is commonly overlooked, but it's one of the key ways to prevent advanced gum disease and maintain healthy gums. While you may brush your teeth regularly, you'll need to do more to keep tooth decay and cavities at bay. Food particles can become lodged in between the crevices of your teeth, causing harmful bacteria to build up. A tell-tale sign of inconsistent flossing is bleeding gums.

Flossing should always be a part of your hygiene routine. The American Dental Association recommends that you floss at least once a day (preferably at the end of the day) to prevent plaque build-up and gum disease. Gum disease commonly starts with poor oral health.

RINSE WITH AN ANTI-GINGIVITIS MOUTHWASH

Mouthwash is famously known for freshening your breath, but it's also great for preventing gingivitis and maintaining healthy gums. Using an anti-gingivitis mouthwash as part of your oral health routine helps kill bacteria and prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Mouth wash also helps prevent cavities and cure canker sores.

There are two different types of mouthwash. Therapeutic and cosmetic are the most popular types. Cosmetic mouth rinses temporarily freshen your breath and taste more pleasant. They typically are less harsh as well. However, they usually are not strong enough to kill bacteria. Therapeutic mouthwashes contain active ingredients such as cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine, fluoride, and peroxide. These active ingredients kill bacteria and reduce or treat gingivitis, bad breath, decay, and plaque. Certain mouthwashes may require a prescription.

STOP SMOKING

Habitual smokers have a higher chance of developing gum disease compared to non-smokers. Smoking causes a myriad of issues such as halitosis (bad breath), stained teeth, receding gums, oral cancer, and plaque and tartar build-up. Smoking is also one of the leading causes of tooth loss. If you're serious about your gum health, you'll need to stop smoking to have healthy gums.

No tobacco product is considered safe. This includes smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco, and vaping. The benefits of quitting greatly outweigh the list of oral health problems that can inevitably happen.

DRINK ALCOHOL SPARINGLY

Heavy drinkers have a higher risk of gum disease, tooth loss, and infection. The sugars and acids found in alcohol can irritate the gum line, erode teeth enamel, and cause bad breath. Alcohol also causes low saliva production, which often leads to dry mouth since it dehydrates the body. A dry mouth leaves your teeth and gums more vulnerable to harmful bacteria.

You can lower your chances of gingivitis by limiting your alcohol intake and drinking in moderation. It's best to brush your teeth after drinking and sip on water in between alcoholic beverages.

EAT A HEALTHY AND BALANCED DIET

A healthy mouth starts with what you eat. Eating a rich and nutritious diet is great for healthy teeth and your overall health. Eating calcium-rich foods such as yogurt, milk, and cheese help strengthen your teeth. Teeth-friendly foods such as apples, berries, and other crunchy fruits and veggies help stimulate saliva production and clean your teeth. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and lettuce also help prevent gum disease and fight cavities.

Avoid or heavily limit sugary snacks such as sticky candies and caramels, sweetened drinks, citrus, starchy, and processed foods. These are some of the worst foods for your teeth as they can erode enamel and encourage harmful bacteria growth. What you eat matters tremendously.

VISIT YOUR DENTIST REGULARLY

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) bacterial plaque is the main culprit of gum disease. When bacteria turns into plaque and tartar, it needs to be removed by a dental professional during a cleaning.

A great way to keep your gums in good shape is to visit the dentist regularly. For healthy gums and teeth, regular visits to the dentist should be scheduled every four to six months. Visiting the dentist consistently also reduces your chances of tooth loss, prevents gingivitis, and helps you detect early signs of dental decay.

RESOURCES

To stay up to date on the latest, you can also leverage resources from the American Dental Association to help you find a dentist and stay informed on emerging trends and news regarding dental health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides several oral health conditions and resources. It's critical to do your research to prevent serious oral conditions.

If you're a parent, it's also important to also take care of your children's gums and teeth. Even though baby teeth inevitably fall out, it's ideal to implement good oral hygiene practices early in life so it becomes a habit that is easily carried into adulthood. Here are more resources on children's dental health.

SUMMARY

Keep your gums healthy by brushing regularly, flossing, using mouthwash, and practicing healthy lifestyle habits. Always maintain your oral routine and use safe and effective products such as SNOW®’s Whitening Toothpaste and SNOW®’s LED Electric Whitening Toothbrush. And of course, remember to stay diligent with your dental checkups and cleanings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if your gums are healthy?

If your gums are healthy, they will be pink and firm. They will not bleed when flossing or brushing or be painful or swollen. You can keep your gums in good health by following regular dental hygiene practices.

How can I get my gums healthy again?

The best step a person can take to prevent and treat gum disease is practicing proper dental hygiene. When it comes to dental health, most people disregard their gums to achieve a brilliant, white smile. The best thing you can do is brush and floss regularly, use mouthwash daily, and see your hygienist twice a year.

Can healthy gums be restored?

The short answer is no. Receding gums cannot grow back if your gums have been injured by periodontitis, the most serious form of gum disease. Even though receding gums cannot be reversed, some treatments can assist in keeping the disease from worsening.

What do unhealthy gums look like?

Redness and swelling are symptoms of unhealthy gums, as are gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth and gums that appear to be pushing away from the teeth.

9 Best Ways to Maintain Healthy Gums (2024)

FAQs

How to keep the gums healthy? ›

Here are a few things you should do:
  1. Floss. Flossing is one of the most important steps in maintaining healthy gums. ...
  2. Quit smoking. Smoking is said to make you more susceptible to gum disease as it weakens your immune system. ...
  3. Brush twice a day. ...
  4. Use fluoride toothpaste. ...
  5. Rinse mouth effectively.

How can I strengthen my gums again? ›

7 Steps to Restoring Gum Health
  1. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day with Fluoride Toothpaste. ...
  2. Floss Daily to Remove Plaque and Food Particles. ...
  3. Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash to Kill Bacteria. ...
  4. Avoid Tobacco Products. ...
  5. Oil Pulling. ...
  6. Eat a Balanced Diet. ...
  7. Don't Skip Dental Visits.
Mar 29, 2023

How do you keep your gums fresh? ›

Good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing at least twice every day, can help prevent gum infections, cavities, and tooth loss. Having your teeth cleaned and checked by a dentist or dental hygienist at least once a year also is important, the ADA says.

How can I improve my gums fast? ›

Improve Gum Health
  1. Clean between your teeth. Floss or use an interdental product to remove plaque both from between your teeth and under your gums between your teeth – before it can harden into tartar.
  2. Brush with a plaque-removing fluoride toothpaste. ...
  3. Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash designed to prevent plaque.
Feb 13, 2023

Can you fix unhealthy gums? ›

In addition to non-surgical treatments and cleaning, dentists may also recommend or use medication to help treat unhealthy gums. These options include: Antibiotics – Antibiotic medications can reduce and kill bacteria that cause gum disease that destroy the tooth's attachment to the bone.

Can you reverse unhealthy gums? ›

Is it possible to restore your oral health and completely reverse gum disease? The answer is “yes,” but there's a catch. Only the first stage of gum disease, known as “gingivitis” can be reversed. After it progresses into the second stage (periodontitis), it's no longer possible to completely eliminate it.

How can I tighten my gums again? ›

Mild cases of gum recession may be improved with nonsurgical treatments, such as topical antibiotics, dental bonding or orthodontics. In most instances, however, gum recession surgery is needed to fully correct the problem.

Can you repair gums naturally? ›

Although you can't regrow your gum tissue, a thorough cleaning can reset your oral health if you maintain healthy brushing and flossing habits.

What gel helps your gums grow back? ›

Another natural remedy for receding gums is using aloe vera gel. Aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which can help to heal your gums and reduce the size of your gum pockets. Simply apply the gel to your gums twice per day. Finally, make sure you're getting enough vitamin C in your diet.

What regenerates gums? ›

GUM GRAFTS

If gum tissue has been lost your dentist may suggest soft tissue, or gum graft, surgery. This is where tissue is grafted from surrounding gums or the roof of your mouth and stitched to the gum tissue to cover the exposed root of your tooth.

How do you detox your gums? ›

Oil Pulling

Coconut oil is often the oil of choice, but any oil will work to remove toxins, freshen up breath and whiten teeth. All you have to do is swish around about a tablespoon of your favorite oil for 10-20 minutes. This will pull toxins from your mouth and bloodstream for a cleaner oral cavity.

What heals gums the fastest? ›

What is The Fastest Way to Heal Swollen Gums?
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria from the gumline.
  • Use an antibacterial and alcohol-free mouthwash to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria.
  • Apply a cold compress over the swollen gums to soothe the ache.
Feb 15, 2024

How can I stimulate my gums to regenerate? ›

How Can You Rebuild Your Gums Naturally?
  1. Oil Pulling. Oil pulling is a popular age-long practice for removing plaques and other food particles from the mouth with natural oils. ...
  2. Salt Water. ...
  3. Eucalyptus Oil. ...
  4. Brushing Correctly. ...
  5. Peppermint Essential Oil. ...
  6. Green Tea. ...
  7. Flossing Regularly. ...
  8. Hydrogen Peroxide.

How can I drastically improve my gum health? ›

10 Tips for Healthy Gums
  1. 1) Start with the basics. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once. ...
  2. 2) Alkalize the body. ...
  3. 3) Clean your tongue. ...
  4. 4) Use probiotics. ...
  5. 5) Incorporate essential oils. ...
  6. 6) Get plenty of Vitamin C. ...
  7. 7) Try oil pulling. ...
  8. 8) Stay away from tobacco.

What helps heal bad gums? ›

First-line treatment options
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. ...
  • Opt for an electric toothbrush to maximize your cleaning potential.
  • Make sure your toothbrush has soft or extra-soft bristles.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months.
  • Floss daily.
  • Use a natural mouthwash.
  • Visit your dentist at least once a year.

What can I eat to make my gums stronger? ›

There are many foods that can help to promote healthy gums and reduce your risk of gum disease. Leafy greens, citrus fruits, berries, green tea, onions, yogurt, garlic, almonds, salmon, and water are all great choices for supporting gum health.

What causes poor gums? ›

There are several risk factors for gum disease, but smoking is the most significant. Smoking also can make treatment for gum disease less successful. Other risk factors include hormonal changes in girls and women; certain illnesses, such as diabetes or AIDS and their medications; and genetics.

What do unhealthy gums look like? ›

Unhealthy gums may appear bright red and swollen. They may feel extremely sensitive or tender to the touch. They may bleed everytime you brush or floss your teeth. These symptoms can indicate an unhealthy condition, like gum disease or a gum infection.

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Wyatt Volkman LLD

Last Updated:

Views: 6687

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Wyatt Volkman LLD

Birthday: 1992-02-16

Address: Suite 851 78549 Lubowitz Well, Wardside, TX 98080-8615

Phone: +67618977178100

Job: Manufacturing Director

Hobby: Running, Mountaineering, Inline skating, Writing, Baton twirling, Computer programming, Stone skipping

Introduction: My name is Wyatt Volkman LLD, I am a handsome, rich, comfortable, lively, zealous, graceful, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.