Ask most people about a visit to the dentist, and their first thought is typically about their teeth: cleaning, polishing, a new filling, perhaps a crown, and so on. However, while you are sitting in the dentist’s chair, did you know that he or she will be performing a careful examination of your gums too? Often overlooked, your gums keep your teeth tightly secured and protected from harm. They also form a vital part of maintaining good health over the rest of your body.

  • Q: WHAT IS GUM TISSUE?
  • A: he pink fleshy tissue you see when you look in the mirror is only part of the story. There are actually four different types of tissue and bone that work together in your mouth to keep your teeth snugly in place. The science of periodontics looks at all of these. Beginning from the very top, your gums –called ‘gingiva’ – are covered with a thin mucous membrane that helps protect the surface. Looking inward, these gums connect into the periodontic ligament - a collection of strong fibres which sit between tooth and bone. Next, on the tooth root itself you have cementum – yet another form of connective tissue, this one is made of minerals, and it provides attachment to the fibres present in the periodontal ligament. All these types of tissue work together to keep your teeth firmly fixed to the underlying alveolar bone, which contains the tooth sockets.

    • Q: WHY DO MY GUMS MATTER SO MUCH?
    • A: On the simplest level, your gums are needed to protect your teeth and bones from damage-causing bacteria. Gums act as a barrier when you chew food, and they keep your teeth firmly anchored in your jawbone. Healthy gums should be a pinkish colour or slightly darker, and curved around the edge of your teeth snugly, with a clearly defined edge. Any bleeding, redness or soreness may be a sign of gingivitis or gum inflammation. If inflammation develops and is not treated, then your gums may not be able to do their job properly. A vicious cycle of bacteria build-up, tartar formation and increasing levels of inflammation ensues, with pockets of pus developing between gum and tooth as they pull apart - called periodontitis. If ignored, then this process can threaten the integrity of your teeth as the infection and inflammation deepens to bone and connective tissue, the teeth loosen, and – eventually – they may fall out. While this extremity of the condition is relatively rare, gum disease is more common than you might expect. Nearly half of Americans aged over 30 have periodontal disease, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). If you think there’s a chance you could have gum disease, it’s hugely important to seek out the best gum treatment.

      • Q: HOW CAN I KEEP MY GUMS HEALTHY?
      • A: Good oral hygiene practices at home are key in the battle against gum disease. Brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste - look for one that’s ADA-approved if you are in doubt. Floss regularly to help remove plaque. Eat lots of vegetables, nuts and fish - Harvard Health Publications quotes evidence that a diet with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of developing gum disease. If you are unsure, any gum specialist will be able to provide further diet guidance. Lastly, see a dentist or gum specialist in Dubai every six months for a check-up. The best gum treatment will be able to eliminate early gum disease with a good clean, and with proper care routines implemented at home afterwards. All of these steps will help keep your teeth healthy as well as your gums.

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