DENTAL HEALTH QUIZ
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Question #1 Do your gums ever bleed when you brush or floss your teeth?
If your gums are healthy the answer will be:
Healthy gums do not typically bleed. Bleeding gums are a common indication of periodontal disease.
If your gums bleed it does not mean you have caused trauma or done something wrong. It means you have discovered where bacteria are growing, and the gum tissues are inflamed as a consequence. Focus on the areas that bleed when you brush and floss
Question #2: Do you struggle with bad breath?
Rotting food particles and bacteria lingering on your teeth, tongue, and gums can release sulfur gases that cause bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Daily brushing, flossing and mouth wash can help. There is a simple test to determine if you have gum disease. We call it the “Floss Test”.
Floss your teeth and then smell the floss. If the floss has an odor it means that you have found an area where bacteria is growing. If the area also bleeds it means you have some form of gum disease.
Question #3: Do you smoke or use any other tobacco products?
Studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the highest risk factors in developing periodontal diseases.
Use of tobacco products can make you 3 to 4 times more likely to develop advanced periodontal disease and can decrease your response to periodontal treatment. People who use tobacco products and are genetically susceptible to periodontal disease are 7 to 8 times more likely to develop advanced periodontal disease.
Question #4: Do you have diabetes?
Research has shown that people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing infections, including periodontal disease. People with diabetes are approximately 3 times more likely to develop periodontal disease.
People with periodontal disease may also find their diabetes harder to control, as periodontal disease can impair the ability to process and utilize insulin.
Question #5: Do your teeth ever feel loose?
Gum disease destroys the bone and tissue that give your teeth structure and strength. Over time, these damaged teeth may fall out or need to be removed. So if your teeth feel wobbly, don’t hesitate. Call your dentist right away.
Question #6: Have you been diagnosed with heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure or osteoporosis?
If you have cardiovascular disease, you may have an increased risk of periodontal disease.
Alternately, if you have periodontal disease, you may be at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
Osteoporosis in combination with periodontal disease may lead to an increased risk of tooth loss due to the decreased density of the bone that supports the teeth.
Question #7: Do You Brush in Circles or Up and down
Although this is the most common form of brushing, it’s also why 75% of the USA population has gum disease. This technique is effective at cleaning the surfaces of the teeth that you can see but does not clean below the gumline where bacteria thrive and trigger the inflammation associated with gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends brushing at a 45 Degree angle to clean below the gum line. Unfortunately, most of us learned how to brush at a young age and have developed a muscle memory in our brushing arm that dictates how we brush as an adult. Breaking this muscle memory is critical to preventing gum disease. You should only use circle brush if advised to do so by your dentist. This is typically recommended if an individual is showing gum recession from brushing too aggressively.
Question #8: Do you see your teeth with the mind’s eye when you brush?
Most people brush on autopilot in a random scrub motion. The arm is doing the brushing and not the mind. Dental professionals visualize the gumline when they brush paying special attention to the position of the brush head, so the bristles are angled 45 degrees into the gumline. This ensures that bacteria in the sulcus is removed. The sulcus is the small pocket just below the gumline where bacteria love to live. It’s also where gum disease starts. The normal depth of this pocket is between 2-3mm. With increased inflammation, the depth of the pocket will increase causing a greater accumulation of bacteria. A pocket greater that 5mm means the bone that supports the teeth is also being destroyed.