Gum Massage: Benefits and Techniques

December 5, 2019

Even if you brush and floss your teeth on a regular basis, you may not realize that you can add additional steps to your at-home oral hygiene routine to keep your mouth healthy. Consider adding gum massage to your oral care routine to improve or protect your gum health.

Learn how massaging and stimulating your gums properly can help improve your gum health, and learn about two gum massage techniques you can choose from when performing this task.

Gum Massage Benefits

When performed properly, gum massage increases blood flow to your gum tissue. This increase in blood flow leads to the circulation of even more nutrient-rich blood to gum tissue to help fight gum disease and improve overall gum health.

Blood is filled with oxygen. Many of the bacteria that contribute to gum disease are anaerobic bacteria that thrive in an environment with little to no oxygen. The additional oxygen supplied to gum tissue during gingival massage can help kill many of these bacteria.

When performed on a regular basis, gum massage can thicken the gum epithelium. The gum epithelium is the outer layer of gum tissue that helps protect the gums from bacteria that can cause infections. When this tissue layer thickens and strengthens, it helps protect your gums from bacterial infections more effectively.

As an added bonus, any food debris not properly removed in gum tissue when brushing and flossing may also dislodge during gum massage sessions.

Gum Massage Techniques

If you regularly brush your gums with a toothbrush, then you want to break this habit. While a toothbrush may stimulate blood flow in your gums slightly, brushing gums too harshly with a toothbrush can lead to gum recession. In addition, brushing gums with a toothbrush only increases blood flow in the outer .5mm of gum tissue.

Other ways exist to massage your gums much more effectively to increase blood flow throughout all gum tissue without risking irreversible gum recession.

Use a Gum Massager With a Rubber Tip 

Special devices specifically for massaging gums are called gum massagers or gum stimulators. You can purchase a manual or an electric version. Both are effective when used properly, although an electric gum stimulator will help take the work out of your gum massage session.

To use a rubber-tipped gum stimulator, hold the device at a 45-degree angle toward your gum tissue, press it against your gums, and massage your gums gently in a circular motion. Aim to massage your gums for ten minutes, but stop sooner if you feel your gums getting sore.

Massage Your Gums With Your Fingers 

If you don’t want to purchase a special gum massage tool, then you can massage your gums with your fingers. To perform gum massage with your fingers, take your index finger and hold it firmly against your gum tissue. Then, move the tip of your finger in a circular motion while sliding it along your gumline for about ten minutes.

You can help your finger move more smoothly against your gum tissue and even help kill additional bacteria in your gums with a plant oil, such as olive, coconut, or sesame oil. Place the oil on the finger you use to massage your gums.

A study revealed that massaging your gums with one of these oils for 10 minutes each day after brushing, then waiting for at least one half-hour before eating or drinking, helped lower bad bacteria counts in gum tissue just as much as massaging gums with a potent antibacterial gel called chlorhexidine.

Whether you currently suffer from gum disease or simply want to take all steps you can to preserve the current good health of your gums, add gum massage to your daily dental health routine. Gum massage can help improve your gum health in just 10 minutes or less each day. To find out if you have gum disease, contact Vanyo Dentistry to schedule a dental exam today.