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Why Your Gum Health Is Important

Bright, symmetrical teeth may be the first thing you notice about a person’s smile, but did you know the health of your gums is just as important? When you’re maintaining good gum health, you’re protecting yourself from serious dental issues and even potential tooth loss. Let’s take a look at the benefits of practicing good oral hygiene and the risks of gum disease.

Common Gum Health Issues

Did you know almost half of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease? The problem begins when bacteria in the mouth build up and combine with other particles, creating a substance called plaque. When plaque isn’t removed, it can collect along and below the gum line, causing an infection. Gum disease occurs in two stages:

  1. Gingivitis, which is a mild inflammation of the gums—Symptoms include redness and swelling, and you may experience some bleeding when you brush your teeth. Gingivitis can usually be reversed with a professional cleaning and a consistent oral hygiene routine.
  2. Periodontitis, which is the more advanced stage of infection—Symptoms can include receding gums, pain while chewing, bad breath that doesn’t go away and loose or missing teeth. Periodontitis requires a deep cleaning by your dentist and may require other treatments like antibiotics or surgery.

In the early stages, gum disease may not be very noticeable, but if the problem progresses, it can cause the loss of one or more teeth. It’s important to have regular checkups with your dentist so they can look for signs of inflammation. If you notice any issues like swollen gums or bleeding, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can.

Gum Health and the Rest of Your Body

Taking good care of your oral health doesn’t just protect you from tooth loss. It can have an impact on your overall health, too. The bacteria that naturally build up in your mouth need to be kept under control or they can contribute to health conditions like:

  • Endocarditis, an infection of the heart’s inner lining—Bacteria from other parts of the body, including the mouth, can travel through the bloodstream and build up in the heart. Endocarditis is a serious condition that can be life threatening if it’s left untreated.
  • Heart disease—Doctors are still researching the connection between gum health and heart disease, but there is evidence that good oral health lowers your risk for clogged arteries and stroke.
  • Pneumonia—Oral bacteria can travel to the lungs and cause infection. The risk for this is especially high among older adults.

As you can see, your gum health affects the health of your whole body. At the same time, certain medical conditions can have an impact on your oral health. You may be at a higher risk for gum disease if you suffer from:

  • Diabetes, which affects your body’s ability to fight infection—Studies show that around 95% of people living with diabetes will experience gingivitis or periodontitis. There’s also evidence that good oral health can help your body control blood sugar levels.
  • HIV/AIDS—People with HIV or AIDS are more vulnerable to bacterial infections, including infections of the gums like gingivitis. They also experience higher rates of oral health issues like mouth sores and thrush. 
  • Alzheimer’s disease, which can make it more difficult to maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine—People living with Alzheimer’s disease may need reminders or assistance with brushing and flossing their teeth.

If you or a loved one is living with any of these conditions, it’s important to see your dentist at least twice a year for checkups and cleanings. Your dentist may want to see you more often depending on the level of care you need to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Tips for Good Gum Health

In addition to regular appointments with your dentist, keeping your gums healthy means sticking to a consistent routine. Be sure to:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. If you’re not sure which brands are best for your teeth, look for the ADA seal of approval. Your dentist can also make recommendations for toothpastes that promote gum health.
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing your teeth to reduce the level of bacteria in your mouth.
  • Floss every day. Food particles and bacteria caught between your teeth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Avoid tobacco products. Smokers are twice as likely to suffer from gum disease than nonsmokers. If you smoke or chew tobacco, now is the time to quit.

If you’re at a higher risk for developing problems with your gums, your dentist may have additional recommendations for you to follow. Be sure to let them know if you have any questions or concerns about your oral health.

We Love Healthy Smiles

At LifeSmiles by Randy Mitchmore, DDS, we use the latest technology to offer advanced dental care in a friendly, anxiety-free environment. Contact us to make your appointment for luxurious poolside dentistry. 


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Sally May-Frankum
Dental Hygienist

Sally’s favorite part about working with the team at LifeSmiles is the fun she has with her co-workers. Additionally, she appreciates working with Dr. Randy Mitchmore because much like her, he values whole-body health for his patients. She’s proud to be part of a team that does such high quality work.

Outside of the office: Sally enjoys being with her children and grandchildren and uses writing as a creative outlet. On the weekends, she can be found doing all things outdoors including hiking and biking.


Bucket List: Going to Europe, exploring every US state, and zip-lining.

Hero: The Highest Power of them all!

Toni Wilson
Queen of Charisma

 “Every great dream begins with a dreamer.”

Toni’s favorite thing about working at LifeSmiles is the beautiful scenery. When patients are having anxiety about their dental appointments, she creates a fearless atmosphere with her charisma and warmth. She is passionate about helping every patient achieve their dental health goals. She says she truly loves being part of a team where she can grow professionally and personally.

Outside the office: Toni loves spending time with her husband and their sons. She also likes to show off her green thumb with her work in her garden.

Bucket list item:
Travel around the world and learn about other cultures and regions.

Your hero: Harriet Tubman because she was passionate and a fearless leader unafraid of any of life’s challenges.

Mike Mireles
Elite Care and Education Specialist

Smiling is contagious

Mike began his career at LifeSmiles seeking an opportunity to expand his skillset and advance his career. Today he works at Dr. Michmore’s side through dental procedures and surgeries. He loves working at LifeSmiles because the entire team is continually learning and keeping up to date with the newest advancements in dentistry.

Outside the office: Mike enjoys barbecuing on his patio, traveling, and spending time with his family. He’s a dog dad of two: Tati and Tito.

Bucket list item:
To visit Thailand and Dubai and to try skydiving!

Your hero: Mike looks up to his parents and is forever grateful for the life lesson they taught him; respect, manners, strength, and to be a go-getter. He continues to carry these things with him with everything he does.

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Sandra Smith

Sandra is 44 years old and is a star athlete for the Special Olympics. At LifeSmiles, Sandra stocks patient rooms and the coffee bar. She does all kinds of special projects like decorating for holidays and preparing awesome gifts for our patients.

Sandra loves being around all her friends and is proud to wear a LifeSmiles shirt, jacket, and name badge. You’ll always find her smiling and helping make our patients smile too.

Outside the Office: Sandra likes to go fishing with her family, swim, go to dances, and walk the mall with her friends. She is very active in the Special Olympics and won second place in the state volleyball tournament (go, Sandra!) in 2020. She sings in her church choir and attends international performances with them.

Spirit Animal: Butterfly. She likes them because they are pretty.

Andie Willis
Director of Details

Andie is married with one son, Logan and now lives in The Woodlands. She grew up in Sugar Land and has followed in her mother’s footsteps – she has been in dentistry for over 35 years. Andie actually started out working in the office with her mom and learned many things from the way she worked.

Andie has been a Lead Dental Assistant for most of her career. She has worked for many specialists including oral surgeons and periodontists. She has extensive training in all facets of dentistry but especially enjoys the surgical and cosmetic side. As a science nerd, dentistry fascinates Andie and gives her a sense of accomplishment.

At LifeSmiles, she is our “Director of Details”. Andie is known for being a perfectionist because she likes to gather as much information as possible and go the extra mile to match Dr. Mitchmore’s high standards. She truly loves being part of our dedicated team of professionals who go above and beyond for our amazing patients.

Outside of the Office: Andie is addicted to Lagree fitness and loves to go off-shore fishing.

Your Hero: Her Mom. She is the most selfless person Andie knows.

John Copous
Chief Enthusiasm Officer

John became a new patient of LifeSmiles in 2008. He likes to tell people he was not allowed to leave. John worked down the street for 14 years before joining the team. He has a passion for meeting new people and extending genuine hospitality.

Often the first person people meet on the phone and when they walk in the door, you can count on John for a warm welcoming smile. You can even ‘hear’ it over the phone. He says, “I believe everyone deserves the red carpet treatment and love seeing other people smile.”

John hears stories every day how someone’s smile is holding them back. He can barely contain his excitement when shouting the praises of Dr. Mitchmore and the entire team. He shares passionate stories of how the transformations people have received at LifeSmiles, changed their lives.

Outside the Office: John loves being outside. He enjoys sharing a beach house with friends and family. He loves entertaining, throwing a party and cooking at home. He can start a conversation with anyone, anywhere. He’s an amateur stand-up comic.

Bucket List Item: To live in a foreign country for one year, somewhere near the beach. Take some time to write an epic love novel loosely based on my large Italian family.

Your Hero: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. While fictional, the character incorporates admirable qualities from real life people. She believes in the goodness of everyone, keeps on going and moves forward despite any obstacle. She is able to find humor in other people’s quirks, accepts them and makes sense of it all. Plus, she’s a little outrageous too.