What Your Gums Say about Your Health

  • Topic Info:Gums have some of the most important roles in oral care. It's crucial to keep them healthy in order for them to do their jobs properly. Ligaments within your gums hold your teeth to your jaw so you are able to bite, chew and move your mouth. Alveolar processes are bones that contain sockets in your gums for your teeth. Lastly, the gingival consists of the mucosal tissue that protect the roots of your teeth.

    Flossing, rinsing with mouthwash, and brushing your teeth can all have a major affect on your gums and your overall health. The most common gum disease is gingivitis, which affects over 50 percent of males and 45 percent of females between the ages of 35-44.

    Gingivitis begins with bacteria growth in your mouth, causing your gums to become inflamed and to bleed easily when brushing or flossing. If left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis, which is when the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from teeth, causing gaps where infections can occur. This can lead to tooth loss and the spread of infection into your immune system.

    Doctor of Dental Medicine and a Consumer Advisor for the American Dental Association, Dr. Richard Price, explains the importance of gum health and what your gums say about your overall health.
  • Host: Melanie Cole, MS