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Health Tips for January 27

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:22pm
Health Tip: Swollen Gums Can Signal Poor Health

Swollen gums are a symptom of problems ranging from poor hygiene to a serious health problem such as lack of vitamin C (scurvy). If you discover that you have swollen gums, speak to your doctor or dentist about determining a cause.

Here are possible explanations for swollen gums, courtesy of the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

* Viral or fungal infection.
* Gingivitis.
* Ill-fitting dentures.
* Reaction or sensitivity to toothpaste or mouthwash.
* Side effect of medications.
* Poor nutrition or malnourishment.
* Scurvy.
* Pregnancy.

Health Tip: Douching Isn't Recommended

Douching is a method of cleansing the female genitalia with a fluid mixture, often of water.

According to the U.S. National Women's Health Information Center, douching is generally not recommended by doctors, as it can adversely affect the body's natural balance of bacteria.

The agency offers these additional potential side effects of douching:

* Irritation of the vagina.
* An infection called bacterial vaginosis.
* Increased risk of sexually transmitted disease or pelvic inflammatory disease.
* Vaginal infections that could spread to other parts of the female reproductive system.
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