Healthy gums are important, and brushing them is one way to keep them that way. Test your knowledge of this often-overlooked topic.
Bleeding gums can be a sign of gum disease, especially if they bleed frequently when you brush your teeth. Smokers, however, may never have bleeding gums, even if they suffer from gum disease.
Research proves up to 30 percent of us may be susceptible to gum disease. Even with great oral care, these people may be up to six times more likely to develop periodontal problems.
Tobacco use is one of the biggest risk factors in the development and progression of gum disease. Smokers develop more hardened plaque (tartar) on their teeth, have larger pockets around their teeth and lose more teeth-supporting bone and tissue.
Massaging your gums stimulates them and increases blood flow to the area, which helps prevent disease.
A toothbrush has bristles specifically shaped to scrape plaque from the surface of your teeth. A gum brush has thicker, soft bristles designed to massage sensitive gum tissue.
You don't need to put anything on your gum brush to get a healthy massage. However, some gum brush makers recommend using them with a herbal massage oil, which they also sell.
There are specially designed gum brushes for babies, many of which are combination gum brushes and teething devices. Babies' gums need to be stimulated, too.
The ADA doesn't say that gum brushes are bad, but it doesn't specifically recommend their use.
Gum brushes cost roughly $5 to $10.
Yes. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush or even your fingers. Just be gentle while massaging, regardless of what you use.