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What Are Gums Good For? The Role of Gums in Periodontal Surgery

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Gums are one of the most important structures within our mouths and are essentially responsible for protecting the roots of our teeth, the health of our jaw, and the periodontal ligament. If you’re in Ontario and are considering a visit to a periodontist, here are some interesting facts about the role of gums and how periodontal surgery in Toronto can help restore healthy gums that are suffering from periodontitis.

The first line of defense

Think of the gums like our skin. They form a seal against the dangers of the outside world and protect the sensitive inner structures of our bodies. Healthy gums adhere to the base of the teeth forming a collar that is designed to keep out unwanted bacteria and protect the roots of your teeth from damage and disease. Healthy gums are firm, pink, and have smooth surfaces. They are not easily pulled away from the tooth line. One way that periodontists measure the health of your gums is by inserting a specialized probe that measures how deep the device can reach into the gum pocket (the space between the tooth and the gum). Healthy gums measure between 0 and 3 millimeters. Gum pocket measurements are one of many tools that your Ontario periodontists can use to determine whether you may need periodontal surgery in Toronto.


Another crucial role that gums play in the mouth is to act as a protective barrier between the outside world and the PDL. The PDL (periodontal ligament) is a vital ligament made of various collagens that affix the tooth to the adjacent bone. Teeth do not attach directly to the jawbone. If this were the case, they would not be removable without severe damage, nor could they move flexibly to absorb impact without irreparable damage. The PDL is an extremely complex yet incredibly thin layer between tooth and bone that can enlarge and then reduce to allow for tooth mobility when necessary. It is essential for functions like chewing and is protected by the gums. Receding gums can expose the roots of teeth and make structures like the PDL vulnerable. Fortunately for those living in Ontario who suffer from receding gums, there is periodontal surgery in Toronto such as gum tissue grafts (periodontal grafts) that can help extend the reach of receded gums by placing healthy grafted tissue (from areas of the mouth like the palate) onto the affected area. This can stimulate growth and encourage better coverage of the tooth roots.

What to look Out for

If you’re concerned about gum disease, it’s helpful to know what to look for if you think your gums may need to be assessed by a periodontist in Toronto. Unhealthy gums are often discoloured. They may be bright red or have spots or be stained brown or black from cigarette smoke. They may also have visible stippling, like the surface of an orange peel. Loose gums, bleed easily and often, and/or are swollen and painful need to be seen by a periodontist. The sooner you address the signs of gum disease, the better your chances are for recovery.

Healthy gums are essential to the healthy function of not just your teeth but your entire immune system. Simple daily oral hygiene routines are often enough to combat gum disease, but if you notice symptoms of deterioration or disease in your gums, reach out to us at Cumberland Periodontics to discuss the possibility of periodontal surgery in Toronto to heal your gums and bring them back your healthy smile.