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Oral Care and Health Daily

My gums are sore, and my dentist suggested that I massage them daily. It seems goofy -- is she kidding?

My gums are sore, and my dentist suggested that I massage them daily. It seems goofy -- is she kiddi...

Not at all. Your dentist is suggesting that you brush or stimulate the gums with your toothbrush, or better yet, the little cone-shaped tip found at the end of some toothbrushes, says Ruben Begino, a dentist and the head of the Bristol Family Dental Center in Santa Ana, Calif.

Massaging healthy gums -- along with brushing and flossing -- helps clear out bacterial plaque, which contains food residue and millions of bacteria. The buildup of this bacterial plaque can lead to gingivitis, which causes inflammation, swelling and sometimes bleeding gums as they try to fight off this bacterial infection.

The great news on gingivitis, though, is that it can be reversed rather quickly with meticulous care of the gums. Brushing, flossing and massaging invigorate the gum tissue and remove plaque, which is the main source of all dental problems.

Ideally, you should massage the gums daily.