What Do Your Gums Say About Your Oral Health?

Here’s the thing about dentists: they don’t only know how to clean your teeth and gum-line, they can also tell a lot about your oral health just from observing your gums themselves.

For instance:

How Often You REALLY Floss

Dentist: “How often do you floss?”

You: “Every day, like you told me!”

If you, like lots of people, incorporate flossing into your daily routine the 24 hours leading up to your dentist appointment, you’ve probably noticed your gums are sensitive or even bleed. When the dentist does their own flossing of your teeth, these symptoms are visible. Even if your gums don’t bleed, dentists can still see that they become pink and irritated as they work their way around the two rows.

In a nutshell, your gums rat you out to your dentist about your avid avoidance of flossing. (source)

The Onset of Oral Health Issues

Bleeding gums can also be cause for concern because it can potentially be a sign of a much larger issue: Gingivitis.​ The good news is gingivitis is both preventable and reversible. It is, however, the first stage of gum disease, so it’s important to address it before it worsens.

Gingivitis is caused by plaque and buildup around and underneath the gums. Smoking and crooked teeth are two things that can increase the risk of gingivitis in the first place, so if you avoid smoking and wear your retainer like your high school orthodontist told you, you should be in good shape. (source)

A Clue Into Your Medical History

Blood thinners can make your gums more prone to bleeding, so if this happens while you’re at the dentist, they might know you’re taking blood thinners due to a previous surgery, or possibly an episode of stroke or certain heart conditions.

As you’ve learned, gums are much more telling about your health than one might think. A dentist is trained to look for certain clues that indicate a larger problem or at the very least, to keep your teeth as healthy and bright as possible. Whether or not you choose to use the professionals at your disposal for the sake of your oral health is none of our business. (source)