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How can you monitor the health of your gums?

Monitoring the condition of your gums is one of the essential actions in preventing gum and tooth problems. Gingivitis is slow to develop and often starts without symptoms, so you should regularly inspect your gums, particularly if they are sensitive.

Checking at home

On a regular basis, or if your gums become sensitive or start to bleed slightly, it is important to check for certain signs:

  • a change in colour;
  • a reddish colouration at the base of the teeth;
  • a shiny, swollen appearance.

These checks are also necessary if you suffer from bad breath, teeth that suddenly become sensitive, or if you notice a metallic taste in your mouth.
If this is the case, you should make an appointment to see your dentist without delay.

Regular visits to the dentist

Consulting your dentist twice a year is one essential way to prevent and rapidly treat gum problems.
If caught early on, gingivitis is reversible following simple treatment such as tartar removal and cleaning the teeth, and establishing a suitable oral hygiene programme.
Regularly consulting your dentist also allows rapid screening for periodontitis, which considerably increases the chances of its treatment being successful. To look for the signs of this infection, dentists use a periodontal probe which is inserted between the gum and the tooth and measures the distance between the edge of the gum and the tooth attachment point. In cases of periodontitis, this distance increases (a pocket forms between the tooth and the gum, where bacteria proliferate and attack the tooth, gum and sometimes the jawbone).

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