Even though many people these days seem to be taking their dental health more seriously, there is still not as much focus placed on the gums. Many dentists find themselves giving special care instructions to their patients concerning the health of their gums. Perhaps it is because we are more focused on esthetics in many cases.

So many people think that a bright, white smile is the sign of a healthy mouth. However, that is not always the case. The fact is that the gums need their own attention as well. There are even times that gums may be discolored, leading to the need for a treatment to lighten them. In this post we will cover both what you can do to make your gums healthier, as well as how to address discoloration.

1. Practice Proper Oral Hygiene

While it seems that this should go without saying, the truth is that some people may not know exactly what a proper, home oral care regimen consists of. Here is a brief summary:

  • Brush twice a day for two minutes using small, circular motions
  • Floss at least once a day, preferably after eating for the last time
  • Use a mouthwash at least once per day
  • Visit the dentist’s office for regular cleanings and checkups

2. Practice Healthy Eating Habits

Biting and chewing is like exercise for your gums. Eating firm, healthy foods which encourage saliva is an essential part of gum health. For example, certain types of fruits and vegetable, as well as nuts are great options. Pineapples, melons, apples, broccoli, carrots, crunchy asparagus and many others are excellent choices.

3. Take in More Fluids Daily

There are plenty of reasons to drink lots of fluids every day, healthy gums are one more. It is also important to drink the right types of fluids. Obviously, water is first on the list. However, there are a few other good choices as well, such as green tea and natural fruit and vegetable juices. Avoid sugary drinks and highly carbonated beverages as much as possible.

4. Use the Right Kind of Toothpaste

Not all toothpastes are the same. Some are specially formulated to help strengthen and improve gum health. Toothpastes which have anti-inflammatory ingredients are very helpful in maintaining your gums.

5. Use a Good Mouth Rinse

Just like toothpastes, some rinses and mouthwashes have ingredients which aid in keeping your gums in good shape. For these types of specialized rinses, it is best to consult with the dentist to see what is recommended.

Treatment Options for Gum Discoloration

In some cases, poor gum health or other issues can lead to them darkening. While there are various at-home methods for lightening dark gums involving herbs, supplements and other natural or homeopathic methods, we prefer to rely on a more professional solution. Gum bleaching is a quick and simple process which can help restore gums to their natural shade. There are two main options; a laser technique or a microdermabrasion process. The best way to decide is to consult the dental care expert as to which treatment may be best for you.

All of these tips, along with regular trips to see the dentist can help you have not only healthy teeth but also gums. Oral health is about so much more than just having a white smile. The gums, tongue, roof of the mouth, inner cheeks and jaw are all part of the equation as well.

Making these simple suggestions a part of your routine can help prevent serious gum issues. And for those who may already have problems and are experiencing discoloration, treatment is many times much easier than most people realize.