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Healthy gums, an essential part of oral health


Published: 05/04/2016

by Marcus Johnson

“My gums bleed sometimes, but that is just normal for me,” is a statement dental professionals hear often. “Though bleeding from gingivitis is common, we never want our patients to think of it as normal,” mentions Dr. Janet Tamo, consulting dentist for Crest and Oral-B.

One in two Canadians will develop gum disease at some time in their lives. It is the most common dental condition, and it can progress quite painlessly until the problem becomes serious. Most adults believe that having healthy teeth and gums is an important element of overall health, and with April being National Oral Health Month, Tamo sheds light on this important topic. 

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis means inflammation of the gingiva (gums) and it is an early form of gum disease. Gum disease starts when bacterial plaque adheres at and below the visible edge of your gums. If plaque is not removed every day by brushing and flossing, it can cause gingivitis which may progress to a more serious bacterial infection (periodontitis). Gum redness, swelling, bleeding and bad taste may appear, without any pain. As gingivitis becomes more serious, tiny pockets of infection form. Over time, the infection can destroy the gum tissue and may lead to serious consequences including tooth loss. 

How to treat it?

See your dentist regularly for checkups and a hygienist for oral hygiene care. Follow their professional instructions for proper brushing (at least two times a day) and floss daily. 

Unfortunately, only three in 10 Canadian adults claim to floss at least once a day. Daily flossing is a simple, inexpensive habit to prevent gum disease and promote fresh, healthy breath.

“I also recommend the new Crest Pro-Health HD, a daily two-step toothpaste system, says Tamo. “The first step, used for one minute of brushing, is an anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis paste and helps improve gum health by treating gingivitis. The second step, used during the second minute of brushing, is a whitening gel.

More information and oral health expert tips are available at

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