Gums play an important role in your oral health. For one, they help support your teeth, keeping them in place along with the alveolar bone underneath. But did you know that your gums could also tell you a lot about your general health? It’s true. Read on to learn what a dentist in Fayetteville, NC can tell you about your health by listening to your gums.
Your Gums Look Pale
When healthy, gum tissue should be pink. However, if your gums are looking pale this can be a sign that you are deficient in nutrients such as iron or B12. Other symptoms of vitamin deficiency include dizziness, fatigue and weakness. Pale gums mean you need to talk with your doctor.
Your Gums are Swollen
In addition to the possibility of gum disease, swollen gums may be the result of a medication you’re taking. Drugs for hypertension, seizure and epilepsy may make your gums swell. Consequently, they may bleed when your brush and floss.
Tell your family dentist in Fayetteville, NC what medicines you’re on; this may help explain the bleeding. But even if a medication is the culprit, you still have a gum problem so you need to commit to a stringent oral hygiene routine at home and schedule regular dental checkups. And check with your physician, too. There may be an alternative medicine that won’t cause swollen gums.
Your Gums are Red and Sore
Despite your best efforts at brushing and flossing at home, your gums are still red and swollen. Do you have type 2 diabetes? Gums often bear part of the brunt of this illness. Diabetics can have saliva that is high in glucose, which feeds oral bacteria. Your physician may need to conduct an examination and do blood work.
There Is a White Spot on Your Gums
There are white spots and then there are white spots. Sometimes, a canker sore turns white, or you may have an allergic reaction that causes a white spot on soft tissue in your mouth. These usually resolve on their own in a reasonable amount of time.
However, if you notice a spot that hasn’t gone away in more than two weeks, then you need to schedule an appointment with the dentist for an oral cancer screening. She will carefully examine the soft tissue in your mouth looking for lesions, bleeding or not.
Your Gums are Receding
Gum recession is often a sign of gum disease. As if that diagnosis weren’t troubling enough, there are bodily illnesses and diseases connected to the health of your gums. For example, women with periodontal disease have an increased risk of breast cancer. In a study conducted in 2015, researchers found that having gum disease raised the risk for breast cancer by 14 percent; the risk rose to 36 percent for study participants with a history of smoking.
For the sake of your oral and your general health, you should see the dentist regularly. Call to schedule an appointment today.
About Dr. Angele C. Ruff
Dr. Angela C. Ruff provides comprehensive dental care to the community of Fayetteville, NC. She will help you promote a healthy smile with a customized treatment plan. If you need a cleaning and checkup, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.