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Health Tips for April 16

Posted Apr 15 2009 11:35pm
Health Tip: Do You Have an Impacted Tooth?

Teeth below the gums are supposed to continue growing and break through. But sometimes, teeth -- most often wisdom teeth -- don't emerge and become impacted.

Head and neck pain may signal an impacted tooth, the U.S. National Library of Medicine says. Here's a more complete list of common symptoms:
  • Persistent bad breath.
  • Problems trying to open the mouth.
  • Sore or tender gums, or pain in the jaw.
  • Headache.
  • Swollen or red gums near the impacted tooth.
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck.
  • Persistent bad taste in the mouth.
Health Tip: Prevent Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums can occur because teeth haven't been properly brushed and flossed, or as a side effect of conditions including leukemia, scurvy or vitamin K deficiency.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers these suggestions to help keep gums healthy:
  • Don't smoke or use other forms of tobacco.
  • Take vitamin supplements, as recommended by your doctor.
  • Don't take aspirin, unless your doctor advises otherwise.
  • If medication is causing your gums to bleed, ask your doctor about possible alternatives.
  • Massage your gums gently with an oral irrigation tool. Set the device on low.
  • Make sure dentures fit properly, and talk to your dentist if they cause bleeding or soreness.
  • If your gums do bleed, wet a gauze pad with ice water and hold it to the affected area.
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