Why you should take gum health seriously, and what you can do about it

While oral health and hygiene require careful attention, many individuals fail to recognize their significance. It is essential to acknowledge the connection between the well-being of teeth and gums and an individual’s overall health.

Dr. Ashok B K, a senior research scientist at the Himalaya Wellness Company, emphasizes that even individuals with a cavity-free mouth may be at risk of periodontal diseases, specifically affecting the gums.

Dr. Ashok explains that gum diseases vary from mild gingivitis to advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis, the common and mild form, manifests as redness, irritation, bleeding, and swelling of the gums around the teeth. On the other hand, periodontitis is a chronic infection that impacts the soft tissues of the gum and can harm the supporting bone structure.

To identify gum problems in their early stages, Dr. Ashok highlights the following signs:

– **Gum discoloration:** Changes in the original pink color of the gums, such as white, bright red, or black, may indicate gum disease.
– **Gum irritation:** A sharp burning sensation or irritation during eating signals potential issues.
– **Gum tenderness:** If the gums ache or bleed with slight touch, it signifies problems.

Dr. Ashok underscores the critical role of gums in supporting teeth and preventing cavities in the roots. He provides the following tips for gum care:

1. **Regular brushing:** Brush teeth at least twice a day for 2-3 minutes, using a toothpaste with natural fluoride and herbs like neem, pomegranate, triphala, and clove.

2. **Herbal mouthwash:** Use an herbal/medicated mouthwash containing neem, pomegranate, meswak, and menthol for complete protection against dental issues.

3. **Gum massage:** Gently massage gums with a gel containing astringent herbs like Indian kino tree and triphala to prevent bleeding.

4. **Oil pulling:** Incorporate oil pulling, a traditional method effective in strengthening teeth, gums, and jaws, using any medicated oil to reduce plaque buildup and prevent gingivitis.

5. **Quit smoking:** Smoking negatively impacts oral health, so stopping is essential for the well-being of teeth and gums.

6. **Balanced diet:** Consume a nutritious diet with fruits, vegetables, and grains to enhance dental and overall health.

7. **Regular dental visits:** Schedule annual dental check-ups, even if dentures are worn, to ensure ongoing oral health.