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iVillage: Oral Fixations: What Your Mouth Can Say About Your Health

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Oral Oddity: Receding Gums

Might mean:

You’ve got gum disease. “Poor oral hygiene can result in a buildup of tartar on teeth, eventually triggering chronic inflammation of the gums (also known as gingivitis),” explains Messina. “If this situation isn’t treated, it can advance to periodontitis (also known as gum disease), in which the gums pull away from teeth.” These empty spaces then become like open wounds, he says, allowing bacteria in the mouth easy access into the blood stream -- and this bacteria may then travel into your arteries, setting the stage for serious health problems including stroke or heart attack. To combat problems, Messina says, clean up your dental routine. Brush and floss daily and schedule regular check-ups (every six months) with your dentist to head off future health woes.

(Getty Images)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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