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Dental Health Quiz

1. If your gums bleed, you have gum disease.

True

False

2. Gingivitis, an early form of gum disease caused by inadequate removal of plaque, is reversible.

True

False

3. Healthy teeth and gums reflect your body’s overall health.

True

False

4. Dentists recommend fluoride consumption for adults and children of all ages.

True

False

Answers

1. False. It's true that bleeding gums can be a symptom of gingivitis—if they bleed easily and are accompanied by red, swollen gums. They also are a major symptom of the more advanced form of gum disease, periodontitis. But serious conditions such as leukemia, a deficiency in vitamin K, or platelet or bleeding disorders also can cause bleeding. Some pregnant women report bleeding gums caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy. If your gums bleed on a regular basis, or if the bleeding is severe, see your dentist.

2. True. If you’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis, don’t despair. Gingivitis can be reversed. You can fix the damage by seeing your dentist for a professional cleaning and by brushing and flossing daily.

3. True. The mouth can be a window to the body’s overall health, the American Dental Association says. Signs of nutritional deficiencies, drug abuse, certain chronic diseases, and other conditions often show up in the mouth. Research has also has found a link between periodontitis and heart disease and stroke.

4. False. While fluoride is heralded as a leading cavity fighter, swallowing too much fluoride can cause tooth discoloration in young children. As a result, children younger than age 2 shouldn’t use fluoridated toothpaste. Children ages 2 and older need only a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. In communities that do not have fluoride in the water supply, your dentist may recommend a fluoride supplement for children between ages 6 months and sixteen years of age.

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“Bleeding Gums.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Feb. 12, 2014. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003062.htm. Accessed 2014.

“Gum Disease.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/g/gum-disease.aspx. Accessed 2010.

“Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments.” National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. July 18, 2013. www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/GumDiseases/PeriodontalGumDisease.htm. Accessed 2013.

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“Lyme Disease Have You Ticked?” Academy of General Dentistry, November 2008. www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article. Accessed 2013

“Periodontal Infections and Coronary Heart Disease.” A. Spahr et al. Archives of Internal Medicine. March 13, 2006, vol. 166, no. 5, pp. 554–9. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=409905 . Accessed 2013

“Fluoride and Fluoridation: Fluoride and Infant Formula Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).” American Dental Association. www.ada.org/4052.aspx. Accessed 2013.

“Fluoride and Fluoridation: Infants, Formula, and Fluoride.” American Dental Association. www.ada.org/sections/scienceAndResearch/pdfs/patient_70.pdf. Accessed 2013

"Oral Health Topics: Fluoride Supplements." American Dental Association. www.ada.org/2684.aspx?currentTab=2 Accessed 2013."

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