Gum health and tooth health are both important, but is one more vital than the other? We learn from a young age the value of brushing and flossing. You need good oral care starting from your very first baby tooth to stay healthy. But what about your gums? Maybe you don’t hear as much about gum care as you do tooth care, but it’s just as critical in maintaining excellent dental and overall health.
Why are Healthy Gums Important?
Gum health is the gateway to overall health. They play a central role in oral health, supporting teeth and protecting deeper tissues. Without them, teeth and underlying tissues would be much more vulnerable.
Healthy gums form a seal around each tooth’s base (neck), acting as a physical barrier against harmful bacteria. In this way, it also helps prevent bacteria from entering the bloodstream and other areas of the body. Unhealthy or damaged gum tissue can cause inflammation, potentially increasing or worsening the risk of developing systemic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, or stroke.
What Happens When Gums Aren’t Healthy?
Gum disease often develops because of unremoved plaque buildup. It causes inflammation, making your delicate gums swollen and sensitive. Inflamed gums also weaken the soft protective tissue, making it easier for harmful bacteria to sneak through into your body.
When you ignore unhealthy gums, more severe problems develop. Gingivitis is an early-stage gum disease that leads to a more serious condition called periodontitis. Periodontitis causes long-lasting damage to the gums and bone surrounding your teeth. Once you have periodontitis, you’ll need professional intervention to stop the progression of the disease and prevent tooth loss. Regular checkups and dental cleanings are essential to maintain gum health and avoid gum inflammation.
The Importance of Tooth Health
Tooth health and gum health have the same outcomes when one or both cause problems like pain and inflammation. Unhealthy gums lead to unhealthy teeth, and vice versa. When you take good care of your teeth, gums benefit just as well. For example, flossing prevents cavities and keeps your gums free of debris that could lead to infection.
The Bottom Line
The teeth and gums are so intertwined that it’s impossible to determine which is more important. The bottom line is that healthy teeth are equally important as healthy gums. Teeth problems can lead to gum problems, leading to more teeth problems. The best thing you can do for both is to take excellent care of them.
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Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.