Dentists and dental hygienists often describe gum disease as a “silent” disease because most patients have no idea that they have it!
Many people are walking around with gum disease and chronic infections in their mouth without knowing it. This blog will list several of the signs of gum disease in the hopes of making more people aware of a dangerous, but silent, situation in their mouths.
- Bleeding Gums
A lot of people think a little pink in the sink is no big deal. This is a dangerous myth!
Healthy gums do not bleed.
Bleeding gums are a sign that your gums are unhealthy. The good news is that bleeding gums are an early warning sign. The very first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums, and it makes them bleed very easily. The pressure of light brushing or flossing causes these super-sensitive gums to bleed. Gingivitis also causes gums to look bright red and puffy.
You can stop gum disease in its tracks by getting back on track with professional teeth cleanings. Call to schedule an appointment with one of our fabulous dental hygienists at the first sign of bleeding gums!
- Bad Breath
If you suffer from consistent bad breath, it is possible that you have gum disease!
Gum disease is an overgrowth of bacteria on the teeth and underneath the gums. Bacteria do not smell good!
As gum disease gets worse, the bacteria move further and further underneath the gums, leaving deep pockets or crevices between the teeth and gums. These pockets create perfect gathering spots for more and more bacteria.
The very first step in getting rid of bad breath is treating gum disease. Your treatment may vary depending on the stage of the disease. When caught early, we treat gum disease with 1-2 professional teeth cleanings! Moderate or severe gum disease requires more in-depth treatment.
Regardless of the stage of gum disease, treating it always improves bad breath!
- Receding Gums
Have you ever heard the phrase, “getting long in the tooth”? In the past, people used this phrase to describe someone who was getting older. This is because at that time, in a day and age without preventive dental care, gum recession was a fact of life.
We now know that gum recession is not inevitable. It is a consequence of gum disease, and we can treat it!
If you notice that all of your teeth are looking a little longer or you can see the roots of the teeth, this is a sign of gum disease.
As bacteria around the tooth destroy the gum and bone attachment that holds the tooth in place, the gums and bone begin to back away down the root. This process makes the tooth look longer.
Gum recession is not an easy problem to fix. It is important to catch it in its earliest stages in order to prevent it from getting worse.
If you are seeing early signs of gum recession, make an appointment with us today.
- Visible Buildup on the Teeth
Most people can see and feel the buildup on the teeth. The problem is that we often get so used to it, that we do not notice it anymore.
It can be a little tricky because plaque and tartar are usually a slightly off-white color, so they can blend in with the teeth. Tooth enamel is shiny and smooth like glass. Any buildup on top of the enamel will have a dull or bumpy appearance.
Plaque and tartar buildup always lead to gum disease. Plaque is the soft buildup that you can remove by brushing and flossing. Tartar is a mineralized (or hard) buildup that develops from plaque if the plaque is not removed.
If this buildup stays on the teeth for any prolonged period of time, gum disease is a guarantee!
If you see plaque or tartar buildup on your teeth, it is time to schedule a professional teeth cleaning with one of our great dental hygienists.
- Loose Teeth
Loose teeth are a LATE sign of gum disease. As gum disease worsens, so do the attacks on the gums and bone surrounding each tooth. These attacks destroy the foundation and support of the teeth.
Imagine a fence post that slowly loses its surrounding soil to erosion. It may begin to lean at a different angle. It will soon become loose, and can even fall out. This is what happens to our teeth when severe gum disease occurs.
If you notice any looseness in your teeth, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible! Loose teeth are a red flag for very severe gum disease.
Do You See any of These Signs of Gum Disease in Your Mouth?
If so, please call your nearest Premier Dental of Ohio location as soon as possible to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists. We will get you started on a treatment plan back to healthy gums!