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How do I know if my mouth is healthy?

We all tend to focus on keeping our teeth healthy and preventing tooth decay and cavities. However, the health of your gums is essential to maintain a healthy mouth and teeth. Did you know that there is a strong correlation between gum disease and conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease? As a result of gum infections, the can enter your bloodstream and cause systemic conditions.

You may be wondering what are the top signs of healthy gums?

No Blood When Brushing or Flossing

Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing is a sign of inflammation and presence of bacteria. Healthy firm gums do not bleed during a normal cleaning. Keep in mind that some medications do cause gingival inflammation and therefore are an underlying cause of bleeding gums. During pregnancy, women will often notice that their gums are more sensitive and bleeding more easily, this is associated with pregnancy hormones and normally will disappear after the pregnancy.

Firm, Pink Gum Tissue

Healthy gums are a light coral pink. People of colour may notice that their gums appear slightly darker, that is normal and is call racial pigmentation. If you glide your finger along your gums, they should appear firm and painless to the touch.

Healthy Breath

A healthy mouth has a neutral smell. Bad breath is an indication with poor oral hygiene, gum disease (deep gum pockets harbouring bacteria) or tooth decay (cavity). Toothpaste, mouthwash, and gum will give temporarily mask the foul smell, however if you do not treat the cause of bad breath it will only get worse. An easy tip, after flossing, if your floss smells bad and is covered in blood, then your mouth is unhealthy.

Defective fillings

If you have broken fillings or dental crowns, food, plaque and bacteria will get lodge causing tooth decay, bleeding gums and bad breath. If you notice while flossing that the floss shreds, that is usually indicative of a defective filling which should be replaced. It is important to see your dentist regularly for a dental exam with x-rays to make sure that all your dental work is still intact.

A healthy mouth is essential to your overall health. Bacteria in your mouth can travel through your bloodstream to other parts of your body. Poor oral hygiene is link to many systemic conditions such as diabetes and heart diseases. Diagnosis early signs of gum disease is key! Dentist recommend to brush and floss twice a day and have professional cleanings every 6months. Bleeding gums and bad breath are primary signs of poor oral hygiene.

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