Anemia is a condition that may be easily visible to your dental care provider during your routine appointment. Symptoms of anemia may be heavy bleeding during routine dental care like cleanings, flossing or brushing. You may also have pale gingival tissue or a swollen tongue. As a dental patient with anemia, you will be at an increased risk for periodontal disease and may be more susceptible to oral infections.
Being anemic occurs when a person does not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout their body. If you are anemic you can bleed easily, may feel cold, loss of concentration, or become tired easily. Not only does anemia mean you’re likely to experience problems with gum disease, it can place you at risk for heavy bleeding during a medical emergency or surgery.
Treating anemia is done by replacing iron back into your body. Typically the biggest recommendation is to increase iron-rich foods in your diet, such as leafy greens, meat and certain beans or nuts. Iron supplements may also be given if needed. In some cases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also need to be avoided, as they may be a cause of the anemia.
Managing your anemia can help prevent chronic health problems and increase your ability to maintain a healthy smile. Otherwise you may continue to suffer from bleeding gums, which could discourage you from practicing much needed oral hygiene on a routine basis. If you believe your oral hygiene practices are efficient, but you continue to experience bleeding during flossing, let your dentist know. A proper examination can determine the difference between existing oral diseases like periodontitis or if it’s more likely to be something such as anemia.
Posted on the behalf of Sarah Roberts
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