This week I will share the benefits and techniques of gum massage.
For oral health, many of us focus on brushing our teeth but our gum health is just as important. Did you know that you can massage your gums and it can be incredibly beneficial for your oral health?
Let’s quickly understand why gum health is so crucial. Our gums play a vital role in supporting our teeth that are anchored in the jaw bone by keeping them in place, and protecting the underlying bone structure. Neglecting gum health can lead to gum disease, which can cause pain, swelling, bleeding, and even tooth loss. Gum massage is an effective way to keep your gums healthy and prevent these problems.
So, what are the benefits of gum massage? Let’s take a look.
- Improved Blood Circulation: The gums are part of the soft tissue lining of the mouth. Gum massage stimulates blood flow to the gums, which helps in delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to the tissues. It promotes regeneration of healthy, stronger tissues and restoration of damaged tissues in the healing process. It helps to prevent gum recession and gum pockets but the massage will not reverse the receding gums if it already happened.
- Increased Saliva Production: Massaging your gums stimulates saliva production, which plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health. Saliva helps to neutralize acids in the mouth, remineralizes tooth enamel, protects teeth against bacterial growth, and washes away food particles reducing the risk of cavities and bad breath.
- Stress Relief: Believe it or not, gum massage can provide relaxation and stress relief just like other massages. The gentle pressure applied during the massage stimulates nerves in the gums and promoting a sense of calmness.
- Acupressure Points: Did you know there are acupressure points on your gums? As you can see there are more than 40 acupressure points on your gums. They are divided into four quadrants, and they are mirror images between left side and right side and almost mirror images between the top and bottom. As you massage your gums, you are stimulating these points and corresponding organs.
- Face Lift: When you are massaging a deeper part of the gums, you are also massaging facial muscles from the inside of the mouth. When you loosen the tight facial muscles which may be waying down on your face to create unwanted lines, you may have a mini-facelift effect.
As you can see gum massage is a great way to improve oral health and keep your gums healthy and strong.
Now that we understand the benefits, let’s move onto the techniques and how to practice it.
Warning: If you are under a professional dental care, please check with your dentist if the gum massage is appropriate for your conditions.
For gum massage you can use your clean finger or a soft-bristled toothbrush. If you are using your finger, use a fingertip. It’s not the very tip of the finger which is hard. Use the pulp of the finger which is softer. If using a toothbrush, make sure it’s designed for gum massage and has extra-soft bristles like this. They are often called micro nano or micro fur toothbrush. If you have long fingernails, you may damage your gums so cut your nails or use the toothbrush. Either case, the ideal pressure is 200g or 7 oz which you can check on a kitchen scale.
Step 1: Brush Your Teeth and Wash Your Hands – Begin by brushing your teeth to remove food debris. Then thoroughly wash your hands to prevent the transfer of any bacteria to your mouth. It defeats the whole purpose if you smear bacteria on your clean gums.
Step 2: Massage the Gum Lines – If you are using your fingertip, massage the gum lines gently in circles. Spend around 15-30 seconds massaging each quadrant.
If you want to follow the acupressure map, be aware of the corresponding organs as you massage the subdivision in each quadrant. If you spend 3 seconds in 5 subdivisions, you will spend 15 seconds in each quadrant. Or 60 seconds total. Keep massaging gently until you cover all four quadrants.
If you are using the soft toothbrush, place it on the gum line at 45 degrees. Gently massage sideways around the pocket of each tooth and between the teeth. Again, you can follow the acupressure map if you like.
Repeat on the bottom gum line. Here is an example with my finger. And the other side with the soft toothbrush.
Step 3: Massage the gum – Gently massage the gum area above teeth in circles. Do the same if you are using a soft toothbrush. You can also pinch and circle inside and outside of the gum at the same time. I use my right fingers for the left quadrant and left fingers for the right quadrant. Again, you can follow the acupressure map to see the corresponding organs you are stimulating. Do the same if you are using a soft toothbrush. Again, spend around 15-30 seconds massaging each quadrant.
Repeat on the bottom with your finger. Or soft toothbrush.
Here I’m showing how you can gently pinch and circle the inside and outside of the gum on the bottom.
Step 4: Massage between gum and cheeks and lip – Finally, slide your finger or soft toothbrush between the deepest part of the gum and cheeks and lip from one side all the way to the other side and come back. Do it several times.
Notice any tight part on the lip or cheeks which can be sagging to create nasolabial lines. Repeat on the lower gum. It’s easier if you switch hands. If you don’t have long fingernail, I recommend you feel this here with your finger because it’s a very unique texture. It’s a bit tricky but you can do it with your soft toothbrush.
The gum massage is not a replacement for brushing your teeth, flossing or professional dental care. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to maintaining healthy gums. Do this once or twice daily to keep your gums healthy and happy. I find it easy to do after brushing my teeth or while taking a shower.
Massage Monday #647 Gum Massage for Oral Health http://bit.ly/mm-647
Gum massage provides many benefits to maintaining oral health. I will share the benefits and techniques of the gum massage.