Do you see pink in the sink? Are your gums red? These are signs of gum disease, but don’t despair!
Read on for simple ways you can improve the health of your gums.
Gum disease is apparent as red gums and is basically an infection and inflammation of the gums.
It is caused by plaque which is a soft sticky layer of bacteria and food that develops on teeth every day of your life!
If this plaque is not cleaned off the teeth and gums by brushing and flossing, the gums will become red, swollen and bleed (gingivitis).
Your gums as a result look red not pink!
Plaque build-up over a few days eventually leads to the formation of hardened plaque or calculus (tartar). Calculus can no longer be removed by brushing or flossing. It actually encourages more plaque to grow on it so the plaque problem is exacerbated. You will need a professional teeth clean by your dental hygienist.
Healthy gums are pink, firm and do not bleed.
The colour of your gums is also a good indicator of your general health as well as your dental health. A healthy body system will have the correct balance of white and red blood cells and is free from infection, thus a healthy mouth will have clear pink gums.
Red, bleeding gums are often also associated with bad breath.
How to get or keep gums pink
- Use a soft toothbrush to massage gums and teeth twice daily for 2 minutes.
- Floss daily.
- If your gums bleed then gently brush them more. Keep brushing.
- Brush in a routine pattern so that you don’t miss any tooth or gum area.
- Change your toothbrush every season ie. summer, autumn, winter, spring or after a cold or flu.
- If your gums are bleeding after brushing also try warm salty mouth rinses for a few days (one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water – far cheaper and more effective than mouth rinse!)
- Mouth rinsing does not replace the need to brush and floss everyday!
- Ask your hygienist or dentist to check and tell you if you are missing cleaning any areas in your mouth.
Remember the risk of gum problems can change at different times of your life, eg. pregnancy, menopause, side effects of certain medications, so please ask for professional advice for your specific situation. We are also happy to give you individual hints on how to brush or floss better or to start flossing or using inter-dental (between the teeth) mini brushes for the first time.
The moral of the story is, if there is “pink in the sink” after rinsing you need to take a seriously close look at your gums and take action today!