Gum disease can be easily treated if caught in its early stages. Look out for these six telltale symptoms.
Did you know that nearly half of all adults over the age of 30 show signs of gum disease? Gum disease develops slowly from a buildup of bacteria and plaque on the teeth and gums. If plaque isn’t removed regularly, it can harden into tartar. And when tartar binds to the teeth and gums, it can inflame the gums and cause gum disease.
As with many chronic health conditions, gum disease advances through stages, with symptoms getting progressively more painful. But if you spot the signs early enough, you can reverse gum disease with the help of your dentist.
Top six gum disease symptoms
Poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, dry mouth, medications that cause dry mouth, and medical conditions such as diabetes often lead to gum disease. The initial stage of gum disease, gingivitis, produces mild symptoms and can be reversed with treatment.
However, if gingivitis is not treated, gum disease can progress to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease. Periodontitis moves through stages, with mild periodontitis characterized by noticeable spaces between the teeth and gums. Moderate periodontitis causes continued weakening of the tissues and bones around the tooth. Severe periodontitis causes bone loss, which leads to loose teeth. The CDC estimates about nine percent of adults have severe gum disease.
Look out for changes to your gums. If you experience any of these six top gum disease symptoms, contact your dentist for an evaluation and treatment.
Bleeding gums. Strong, healthy gums don’t bleed easily when brushing and flossing. But if you have gingivitis, you’ll see red anytime you brush or floss.
Swollen, red gums. Gums are supposed to look pink and fit tightly over your teeth. Gums inflamed by gum disease will appear dark red and puffy. The swelling worsens in the later stages of periodontitis.
Receding gums. Gum disease can cause your teeth to look longer as your gums recede.
Bad breath. Tartar and plaque attract bacteria, which can make your breath smell bad.
Pus between teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque and tartar can also infect your gums, leading to pus to develop.
Loose teeth. Infections resulting from the buildup of bacteria and plaque can eventually weaken the gum tissues and bones, which can cause your teeth to feel loose. Tooth loss is a definite possibility at this later stage of periodontitis.
Prevent gum disease
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your dentist. Gum disease is treatable with various methods, including deep cleaning or tissue and bone grafts.
Yet with good oral hygiene, gum disease is one of the most preventable dental conditions. Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste reduces bacteria and plaque on the teeth, and flossing cleans the plaque hiding between teeth. If you dislike using traditional floss, get an interdental (between-the-teeth) brush or a water flosser.
Additionally, limit sugars and starches in your diet. Those foods accelerate the formation of plaque and tartar on the teeth and gums. If you smoke, it’s also an excellent time to quit.
But the best preventative medicine is seeing your dentist every six months. Those routine visits include a thorough cleaning by a dental hygienist who can remove tartar. Your dentist can also examine your teeth and gums for any signs of disease and start treatment as early as possible.
Stop gum disease in its tracks!
Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Mission Valley, California, location today! Our highly trained dentists can check your gums for any signs of gum disease and treat it immediately. Don’t live near our Mission Valley, CA, office? Find one of our other locations near you.
Mission Valley, CA
8989 Rio San Diego Drive
San Diego, CA 92108