How to Care For Your Gums

September is Gum Health Month. Gum health is an important aspect of your oral health and overall health. Conditions like diabetes, immunodeficiencies, and pregnancy can affect gum health. Gum problems may start out small but can ultimately affect and be affected by heart health. In extreme cases, poor gum health can increase blood sugar levels and affect your heart health. At-home and professional in-office care are key to ensuring your gums stay healthy.

How to Care For Your Gums

How to Keep Your Gums Healthy

As your dentist in Arlington Heights, IL, we want to help your gums stay healthy. Some of the best ways to care for your gums is to:

Brush and Floss Properly

Before you brush, floss between each tooth. Many patients who avoid flossing can experience bleeding gums, an early sign of gum disease. Bleeding gums may also be accompanied by gum irritation and red gum tissue. Flossing can help reverse gum inflammation or gingivitis that precedes gum disease.

Additionally, when brushing, make sure you gently brush your gums. Aggressive brushing can lead to gum pain and inflammation. Brushing too hard can also recede the gum tissue over time.

Quit Smoking

Tobacco products, including cigarettes and vapes, can contribute to multiple dental problems, including gum disease. Smoking creates a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream and slows healing if patients already have signs of gum infection. Tobacco can worsen gum disease and increase the chance of experiencing gum disease. 

Improve Your Diet

Highly acidic or sugary foods and drinks can affect your oral health. Sugars and acids left on your teeth and gums attract harmful bacteria that begin by irritating the soft tissues of the mouth. These bacteria feed on sugars and starches, creating plaque and tartar deposits that can be difficult to remove. 


Everyone knows it’s important to drink enough water daily to stay hydrated. However, many patients may not know how important water intake is to oral health. Water can wash food and bacteria from the teeth and gums. The fluoride in water also helps fight against harmful bacteria that cause decay. 

Visit The Dentist Regularly

At routine dental visits, we examine the smile and provide professional cleanings that remove bacteria from the teeth and gums. We can also treat gum disease if we notice emerging symptoms, including bleeding and irritated gum tissue. Our deep cleaning treatments can remove harmful bacteria that create deep gum pockets and inflammation. We will also recommend regular deep cleanings if patients have chronic gum problems.

Are you noticing changes in your gum health? Call Dr. Brent Engelberg at (847) 230-9703. You can also schedule a dental appointment at AH Smiles today. Please let us know if you have questions about your current symptoms or your treatment options. We’re here to help.