Gum disease, or periodontitis, is a serious condition that can be extremely damaging if not acted on quickly. These diseases often begin with the growth of bacteria, which presents as plaque on teeth. This plaque is usually removed when teeth are brushed or flossed, but it can eventually harden if left unattended. When this happens, gum disease can occur. Here are some symptoms of gum disease so that patients may catch it early:
- Red and swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Persistent bad breath
While some of these symptoms may be easier to spot than others, they are all warning signs of gum disease. If you spot any of these symptoms, it’s advisable to get help as soon as you can.
1. Red and Swollen Gums
Gum inflammation is one of the most prominent warning signs of periodontitis developing. Also referred to as gingivitis, red and swollen gums can become severe if left untreated. Treatment can be difficult at times, as many people may not even notice that something is abnormal with their gums.
However, one good thing about gingivitis is that it can be treated simply by maintaining good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth, flossing, and having regular appointments with your dental specialist.
Having good dental habits can possibly reverse the progression of gingivitis before it transitions into periodontitis. If left untreated, however, gum disease is very likely to develop.
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2. Receding Gums
If your gums are receding or “pulled back,” you could also have gum disease. Gum recession can be a symptom of periodontitis, as the disease destroys the area of your gums closest to your teeth over time. This recession opens new areas for bacteria to reside in your teeth and advances gum disease.
While many people have gums that recede due to other reasons such as genetics or overly aggressive teeth brushing, the recession that occurs due to gum disease can be severe, even resulting in the loss of teeth at times.
3. Loose Teeth
Very loose teeth can be a sign that you have severe gum disease. As the bacteria in your mouth pulls your gums away from your teeth, it can eventually break down bone and the surrounding tissue. This process is what often leads to periodontitis-related tooth loss.
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4. Persistent Bad Breath
While bad breath is common and something that some people may experience almost daily, bad breath that never seems to go away can be a sign of gum disease. Bacteria cause gum disease, and these bacteria often emit foul-smelling compounds, which result in bad breath.
The more bacteria allowed to dwell in the areas between your teeth, the worse your breath odor is likely to be. Treating gum disease may help your breath return to normal.
Having a constant bad taste in your mouth is a similar warning sign of gum disease. Like bad breath, it could be that the bacterium in your mouth is causing a constant bad taste that does not seem to go away. If you think you have bad breath or cannot seem to get rid of a bad taste in your mouth, you may have or are developing gum disease.
Gum disease is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. If left untreated, it could result in the loss of teeth. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, reach out to our office to schedule a consultation.
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