Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease is extremely common but also extremely misunderstood. Saying that over half of the entire adult American population suffers from this disorder is not an understatement. Over one in two people have gum disease, yet many people seem to remain unconcerned about it. The problem with gum disease is that it can be subtle and sneaky, but if it remains left untreated, it can cause a huge amount of problems for you in the long run.
Regular checkups with us here at Tieken Smiles Dentistry are essential in helping prevent gum disease and helping to control the symptoms of it once it develops.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease?
There are two major types of gum disease that we generally encounter here at our office. There is the milder form of this disorder, and then there is a more severe degree of it. The milder type of gum disease is also known as gingivitis. Gingivitis means that your gum disease is still in the early stages and, if we catch it at the stage, we can cure it.
However, once your gum disease progresses to the more severe stage, it becomes a condition known as periodontitis. Unlike gingivitis, periodontitis is not reversible and must be managed like a chronic illness.
One reason that gum disease tends to be so subtle is that it has a strange property to it that makes it relatively painless at first. We suspect that is because the bacteria give off a little bit of an analgesic effect, which allows them to proliferate and attack your teeth and gums without being intercepted. The bacteria that cause gum disease are already found in your mouth, and when you eat certain foods (such as sugar), they can grow more quickly.
They start to build up and accumulate on your teeth and gums in a scummy film known as plaque. This plaque buildup gives off toxins and acids that attack your teeth and gums, causing inflammation and leading to gum disease.
The symptoms of gum disease may vary from patient to patient, but they include red and swollen gums, bad breath (also known as halitosis), receding gums, and the presence of blood in your saliva after you brush and floss your teeth. Once it becomes more severe, you may start to notice that your gums have begun to severely move away from your teeth, creating deep gum pockets that make it even harder to remove trapped bacteria. You may develop an infection (such as an abscess) or tooth loss.
Together, We Can Win
Treating gum disease takes teamwork. At home, start by taking good care of your teeth by making sure to brush them twice per day, for two minutes each time. Also make sure you floss at least once per day, either morning or evening. You also need to make sure you schedule regular dental appointments at our office to help ensure and maintain your oral health. During your checkup, we will not only make sure you do not have any active gum disease; we will also help you keep it from forming by carefully cleaning your teeth.
If it has been longer than six months since your last dental checkup and cleaning, it is important that you schedule one with us right away. To learn more about gum disease, or to set up an appointment with us here at Tieken Smiles Dentistry, please give us a call today at (281) 942-0444!