Tue, Jan 29, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Self-examination methods for periodontal disease
「停看壓」三步驟 牙周病自我檢測

A dentist checks the teeth of a US patient at a dental clinic in San Jose, Costa Rica on Nov. 1 last year.

Photo: Reuters

Do you assume that your gums bleed because of excessive internal heat in the body, too much stress, using too much force when you brush your teeth, hard foods, or simply because you did not get enough sleep? As 90 percent of adults in Taiwan have experienced bleeding gums at one time or another, Tsai Yi-min, a dentist in the division of periodontics at National Taiwan University Hospital’s Department of Dentistry, would like to remind people that if they are not vigilant enough about their bleeding gums, they will probably miss the ideal time to treat periodontal disease.

Bleeding gums are the earliest sign of periodontal disease. People who have slight bleeding in the gums are typically in denial because they do not experience any pain. Tsai says that if you suspect that you may have periodontal disease, you can use the three-step method of self-examination, which he calls the “stopping, looking and pressing” method. “Stopping” means that you should stop in the middle of brushing your teeth or eating to see if your gums are bleeding. “Looking” simply implies observing whether your gums have become a dark red color or whether your teeth have grown longer and the gaps between them have widened. “Pressing” means using your tongue or toothbrush to press on your gums to see if you have any loose teeth or whether your gums bleed or hurt.

Tsai says that some people do not take dental hygiene seriously enough and assume that going to the dentist for a teeth cleaning every six months is enough, when actually they are habitually doing harm to their gums. From the time a person is a child, they should get into the habit of brushing their teeth after every meal and flossing at least once a day in order to maintain healthy gums, Tsai says.


1. slight adj.

稍微的;輕微的 (shao1 wei2 de5; qing1 wei2 de5)

例: A slight tilt of the head and the bullet would have grazed her ear.


2. in denial n. phr.

鴕鳥心態 (tuo2 niao3 xin1 tai4)

例: Listen to your cough. I think you’re in denial about your smoking problem.


3. floss v.

用牙線 (yong4 ya2 xian4)

例: The dentist said that flossing once a week wasn’t nearly enough.


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)





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