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3 Ways Your Gum Health is Impacted

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Excellent oral health is a major part of overall health and happiness. Due to our modern diet, there are many things we consume and do that can be harmful to our gums and can lead to gingivitis and gum disease. Gum disease can become serious if left untreated. It can lead to long-term health complications like tooth loss. Oral care includes gum care, and it’s important that we take great care of our gums.

Gum Health

Here are some factors that influence our gum health, for better or for worse:

  1. Diet

    A healthy diet low in sugar and starch is key to both oral health and overall health. Sugars cause more bacteria to build up in the mouth, which can lead to gingivitis and gum disease. In order to prevent bacteria build-up, it’s important to rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth after consuming sugary, starchy, or acidic foods.

    Additionally, the nutrients we take in (or don’t take in enough) affect our gum health. For example, a lack of Vitamin C is directly related to poor gum health, including swollen, sensitive, and bleeding gums. Just as sailors used to get scurvy from a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables, a diet lacking Vitamin C can have terrible effects on the gums.

    Ensuring you have a nutritious, balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals will boost your body’s immune system, making it easier for your body to fight off bacteria and infection.

  2. Hormones

    In women, hormonal changes can influence gum health. About 40% of women suffer from gingivitis during pregnancy due to increased progesterone. There are other hormonal factors for woman other than pregnancy, such as menopause or being on the birth control pill. Increased progesterone can maximize the body’s response to toxins like the bacteria that causes gum disease. It’s extra important to take care of your gums if you know your hormones may influence your oral health.

  3. Stress

    Stress takes it toll on your immune system, making it more difficult to fight off any disease or infection like gum disease. Stress has many negative effects, especially long-term stress. If you feel chronically stressed, it’s best to seek help from a doctor, a psychiatrist, or a psychotherapist before the negative effects start to show up.

Prevention is the best way to avoid gingivitis or gum disease. Keep your gums healthy by following a good oral hygiene routine and by visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings. Oral health and overall health go hand in hand, and keeping your mouth healthy is a great step towards a healthy and happy life.


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Dr. Tali Waksman
A graduate from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto, Dr. Tali Waksman went on to work as the only dentist on a Native reserve, serving 2000 people after completing a residency at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. With a warm and friendly personality and close attention to detail, she treats every patient like family.