May 25, 2023
Can you be sure that you have not suffered or are not suffering from gum disease?
Do not ignore these signs of gum disease
Gum disease is more common than most people realize. Nearly 50% of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. And that percentage increases with age: 70.1% of people 65 and older have periodontal disease.
Unfortunately, gum disease (or periodontal disease) can significantly affect your overall and oral health. It has been linked to heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, complications with diabetes, and even premature birth, so it's essential to spot the warning signs.
How can you tell if this "silent disease" has affected you?
Gum disease not only affects the mouth but has been linked to several life-threatening conditions throughout the body, such as a weakened immune system.
For some people, the early stages of gum disease may go unnoticed. Unfortunately, it is also the phase in which the disease is most reversible.
Periodontal disease is technically an infection that gets worse over time, and in pandemic times, we need more than ever to keep our immune system in top shape.
Gum disease is no laughing matter. The onset of the periodontal disease tends to be gradual, which means it can be reversible with proper dental care if caught early. The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis.
Signs that indicate if you suffer from periodontal disease
Taking care of your hygiene is crucial to your dental health. It may seem simple; however, people overlook the importance of a healthy mouth.
If you haven't been taking care of your oral health as much as you should and want to ensure your gums stay healthy, continuously look for the following red flags.
Just like any other part of your body, the coloration of your gums will not be entirely consistent. Different parts of the gums will have different shades. However, healthy gums have pinkish tones.
If your gums have much darker shades of pink or red, you may be suffering from gum disease, and you should seek medical attention to determine the proper course of action.
However, there is a caveat to this warning. If you are a smoker, your gums will most likely be pink, even if you have periodontal disease. This is because the chemicals in cigarettes deprive the soft tissues in your mouth of oxygen, which can mask the visible signs of gum disease.
Swollen and bleeding gums
People often mistake bleeding gums for a side effect of brushing their teeth "too hard." In reality, gum disease is often the culprit for bleeding in your brushing routine.
If you've had a cut or scrape become infected, you'll know that the area becomes red and swollen. The tissue swells and becomes tender, causing discomfort in the mouth. It is never evident when brushing your teeth.
When infected, the tissue is more fragile, which can cause tiny tears as you go about your oral health routine. When you meet with our professionals at Bell Road Dentistry, this will go away with the right interventions.
Receding gums and loose teeth
As we age, our gums often begin to recede. It is a function of our body tissue that breaks down. However, if you live with periodontal disease, you will find that your gums recede much faster than they should, revealing more of your teeth.
According to the American Dental Association, many people don't notice that their gums have receded because it is gradual. Not only is this recession unsightly and likely to leave you more vulnerable to infection, but it can put you at risk of losing your teeth.
Your gums keep your teeth secure in your mouth, and the fewer there are, the less they will hold them in place. Treating gum disease is much less expensive than replacing a missing adult tooth.
Pain and sensitivity
Feeling pain when the gums are touched, and tooth sensitivity to cold drinks can be warning signs. If a sip of a cold drink causes a shudder, a person's teeth may be saying something. That's a symptom of gum disease that is often accompanied by gum shrinkage.
An abscess in the gum
An abscess can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. An abscess is a pocket of pus in the gum tissues. It looks like a small red ball coming out of the inflamed gum.
Bad breath can also be an indicator of early-stage gum disease. Usually caused by plaque buildup on the tongue, bad breath can signify that plaque and bacteria are not being properly removed.
Aside from the physical aspect, bad breath can have social implications, causing a negative self-image when others avoid the person with bad breath.
If you notice any of the following warning signs, you may have poor oral health and should visit a dentist immediately.
Preventative Dentistry in Surprise, AZ
Visiting your dentist is just like visiting your doctor. There is no wrong question; your oral problems and concerns are our top priority. The key to improving your oral health is prevention.
Gum disease can permanently affect not only your teeth but also the health of your jaw and bones. It can quickly become much more severe if proper treatment is not provided. If you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, you must make an appointment at Bell Road Dentistry.
Dr. Nielsen and his team are experts in preventive dentistry. Trained to determine your risk for gum disease and other oral health problems, perform a thorough examination, and help develop a dental treatment that fits your teeth and your budget as quickly as possible.
Contact Bell Road Dentistry in Surprise, AZ, today by calling (623) 246-5025 or book an appointment on our page to learn more about stopping gum disease!