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How do I know my gums are healthy?

Healthy gums help serve as an anchor to keep your teeth in place. If your gums are pink (not red) and don't bleed when you brush or floss, those are good signs. Gums that are unhealthy can be red or swollen or tender, but not always. During your dental visit, your dentist or hygienist will perform a periodontal exam by using a periodontal probe to gently measure the depth of the pockets surrounding each tooth. When teeth are healthy, the pocket dept is usually 3 millimeters or less. Generally, the more severe the disease, the deeper the pocket.

It's important to realize that you can have periodontal disease and not know it; that's why regular dental visits and periodontal exams are so important. If caught early enough, it can be reversed with treatment in the dental office and good oral care at home.
You will know if your gums are health by their color and texture. In addition to being pale pink in color, healthy gums will hold tight to each tooth and feel smooth and scalloped in appearance. Healthy gums have a firm texture that is resistant to movement and to normal brushing or probing. Your gums should not bleed when they are brushed or cleaned.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.