Dental Health Quiz
1. If your gums bleed, you have gum disease.
2. Gingivitis, an early form of gum disease caused by inadequate removal of plaque, is reversible.
3. Healthy teeth and gums reflect your body’s overall health.
4. Dentists recommend fluoride consumption for adults and children of all ages.
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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