Oh, that little “pink in the sink” after we brush and floss.
We’re so used to seeing it, it must be normal, right? Wrong!
That “pink in the sink” is, of course, BLOOD, coming from infected gum tissues. The most common form of gum disease, gingivitis, is characterized by red, tender gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing, and is limited to the superficial structures surrounding the teeth. Contrary to popular belief, having gingivitis does NOT mean that you will develop more serious forms of gum disease, but it is possible, especially left untreated.
All gum diseases – including gingivitis – are infections caused by bacteria. Whenever you see blood after brushing or flossing, you should know that bacteria have direct access to your bloodstream, and will circulate throughout your body, causing inflammatory proteins to be produced by the liver and other immune responses which can affect any organ in your body!
More serious types of gum disease (also known as periodontal diseases) are characterized by loss of bone and fibers surrounding the teeth (which hold it in place), darker red or purplish gums, bad breath, possibly loose teeth, and sometimes not a lot of bleeding when brushing or flossing. The bacteria which cause gum disease are very harmful to your body!
One very important fact to remember is that any type of gum disease is NOT curable, although it IS controllable! This is very important, and it’s why we dentists (and hygienists) strongly advise regular dental checkups and treatment, as well as home care that involves brushing AND flossing!
Yes, your oral health is linked to your general health, and the connection is unmistakable. For a copy of my book “Secrets for Healthy Living: The connection between your oral health and your general health – and why you need to act NOW!”, just give me a call or email.