Two Ways to Improve Gum Health

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Dental implants are a fairly routine procedure and enjoy an up to 98 percent success rate. However, there are several things that can cause implants to fail, and poor gum health is one of them. For example, gum disease can cause inflammation at the implant site that can lead to the disintegration of the bone supporting the implant. Here are two things you can do to improve the health of your gums and increase the chances that your tooth implant will successfully take root.

Stimulate Circulation with Daily Massage

One common reason for bad gum health is poor circulation. Nutrients and white blood cells are supplied to the mouth through the blood stream. If the blood is not circulating properly, the gums may not be getting the vitamins and minerals needed to keep the tissue healthy. Additionally, the white blood cells responsible for fighting bacteria and other disease-causing organisms may have a difficult time getting to a site of infection in the mouth, which can lead to the development of gum problems, such as periodontal disease.

Poor circulation can be caused by a number of things, including systemic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. In addition to getting these problems under control, you can promote good circulation in the mouth by massaging the gums at least once per day.

You can do this by washing your hands and gently massaging the gum tissues with your forefinger. Although a bare finger works just fine, one study found that using a small amount of oil may help reduce the amount of certain bacteria in the mouth. In the study, participants used olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, or Chlorhexidine gel to massage their gums for 10 minutes per day after brushing. At the end of the three-week study, researchers found there was a significant reduction in plaque and harmful Streptococcus and Lactobacillus organisms.

Although using your finger is probably the simplest and cheapest method, there are a number of toothbrushes and other oral health tools that can help you accomplish this task. Talk to a dentist about the best option for you.

Take Care of Dry Mouth Issues

Chronic dry mouth is a condition in which saliva production is significantly reduced, resulting in a constantly parched mouth. This condition can be harmful to gum tissues because saliva is needed to help remove food particles and bacteria from teeth and gums. Without the constant flow of saliva, bacteria can multiply and damage the teeth and cause periodontal disease.

Like poor circulation, dry mouth can be caused by a variety of issues, including these:

  • certain medications
  • the side effect of diseases such as anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's disease, and diabetes
  • trauma to the salivary glands
  • nerve damage to the head and neck
  • dehydration
  • smoking or chewing tobacco

Common symptoms of chronic dry mouth include a sticky feeling in the mouth, frequent thirst, split skin or sores in or around the mouth, a dry tongue, difficulty chewing and swallowing, and bad breath.

There are several things you can do to increase moisture in the mouth:

  • Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless candies throughout the day.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid products that contain caffeine and alcohol, as these can dehydrate the body.
  • Stop smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Use a medicated mouthwash designed to stimulate moisture production.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to a dry room.
  • Use a saliva substitute.
  • Train yourself to breathe through your nose if you're a mouth breather.

Keeping your gums healthy is essential to maximizing the success rate of your dental implants. For more advice about this issues, contact a dentist in your area, like one from Northwest Dental Services and Implant Center.