Healthy gums should look pink and firm. Red and swollen gums are a sign of gingivitis. Studies have revealed that people with gum disease have a more likely chance to get heart disease than those with healthy gums. To keep gums healthy, practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day after meals and floss at least once a day. Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day and avoid smoking or chewing tobacco. It is important to visit your dentist regularly. Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.