Gum disease mainly affects people once they reach their 30’s or 40’s, and men are more likely to fall victim to the condition. Early detection of gum issues is critical for effectively treating the condition before it’s too late. You may not even realize your gums are infected because the initial stages are often painless and go undetected.
Here are the seven signs of gum disease and what you can do to stop it before it’s too late.
Swollen Gum Tissue
The bacteria that cause gum disease inflammation may make your gums swollen, red, or tender. For many people with gingivitis, the swelling is not painful. As a result, gingivitis can be challenging to detect if you’re not paying attention to your gum tissue.
Your gum tissue should not bleed after brushing and flossing. As a general rule, if you do not floss frequently, bacteria buildup below the gum tissue may cause your gums to bleed after cleaning. Gum disease inflammation may also make your gums bleed in addition to them becoming tender and swollen.
Consistent Bad Breath
Bad breath, or halitosis, that won’t go away may be caused by an accumulation of plaque on the teeth. The toxin-forming layer of plaque often gives off a persistent bad taste in the mouth.
Teeth that appear to be getting longer may seem that way due to the fact that the gums that surround them are receding away. Gum recession is a sign that gum disease is progressing. In later stages of gum disease, these pockets become deeper, and gum disease continues to worsen until you are faced with permanent tooth loss.
Gum recession can lead to severe tooth sensitivity. In these cases, sensitivity can be an indication of gum disease. Chronically inflamed gum tissue exposes the root surface of the teeth, making them more sensitive. Exposed tooth roots are more susceptible to tooth decay, sensitivity, and potentially tooth loss. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, you should speak with your dentist to see if it is related to gum disease.
Changes in Your Bite
If you bite down and suddenly your alignment doesn’t feel the same, it could be an early indication of gum disease. A change in the way the teeth fit together when you bite is often due to the underlying, supporting tissue of the teeth being under attack. The bone and ligaments that attach the bone, teeth, and gums are all connected. If this supporting tissue is destroyed, it can lead to a change in your bite and eventually permanent tooth loss.
Permanent Tooth Loss
Your teeth can become loose when infection takes over beneath the gum tissue. As the disease intensifies, the gum pockets become deeper due to the body’s response system. Once the bacteria from gingivitis and periodontitis cause the body’s immune system to attack the gum tissue, the bone around the teeth decreases. The decrease in the gum tissue and bone can quickly lead to permanent tooth loss.
Gum Disease Prevention
While using proper brushing and flossing helps to prevent gum disease, regular dental visits are also vital. Removing harmful plaque that can’t be removed at home is an essential step towards preventing gingivitis from taking hold. In general, brush your teeth twice a day for a full two minutes in addition to flossing once a day to remove left-behind food debris. Seeing your dentist twice a year for professional cleanings will give you peace of mind while allowing for your dentist to watch for early indications of gum disease.
Call Premier Dental Center today if you’ve noticed any changes in your mouth that may be early indications of gum disease.