Check the health of your gums by asking yourself the following questions:
- Are your gums swollen? (Compare the appearance of your gums with those in the picture of healthy gums on the right)
- Do your gums bleed when you are brushing, or when you use a toothpick or other cleaning device?
- Have your gums shrunk back or receded, so that your teeth appear lengthened?
- Are you aware of any loosening of your teeth?
- Do you see any yellowish, pus-like fluid at the gum line when you massage your gums?
- Have your teeth drifted or changed position, and have any gaps appeared between them?
- Have your parents or siblings lost teeth prematurely due to tooth loosening?
If you have answered one or more of these questions with ‘yes’, you should contact your dental practice for a periodontal assessment.
Don’t forget that regular check-up appointments with your dentist (at least twice yearly) will enable your dentist to check your periodontal health – ask for the Periodontal Screening Index (PSI).