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What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?
You probably have a good reason to be worried that you have gum disease. After all, millions of adults in the United States have the condition, and worst still, a lot of them do not even realize they have it. Gum disease is detrimental to oral health and in worst cases could cause infection, loose teeth, or tooth loss. Continue reading to know about the signs of gum disease that indicate a need to visit the dentist for treatment.
Signs of gum disease
Gum disease does no good for oral health. The condition, which starts as minor gum inflammation, can quickly turn into a full gum infection that destroys the hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity and causes tooth loss. The following are some of the signs of gum disease:
Brushing and flossing daily is effective in preventing gum disease. Someone who has not flossed in a while may notice their gums bleed when flossing or brushing. This is usually a warning sign of gum disease in its early stage. The bleeding occurs due to plaque buildup — caused by inadequate oral hygiene — which makes the gum sensitive and prone to bleeding. Anyone noticing bleeding gums should continue to floss and brush regardless and visit the dentist for additional evaluation.
If the gums surrounding the teeth are receding, the teeth may look longer than they are. Gum recession is a sign of gum disease progression. As the gums recede, the depth of the pocket of gum tissues around the teeth deepens. The pockets become deep in the advanced stage of the disease. At this point, it becomes harder to clean the food debris that will gather in those pockets with brushing and flossing. The infection will only get worse from there, causing the teeth to loosen and move in their sockets.
Deep periodontal pockets and gum recession can cause tooth sensitivity. Chronic gum tissue inflammation exposes the root surfaces of the tooth. In these situations, teeth sensitivity is clearly a sign of gum disease. The exposed roots make the tooth vulnerable to decay, sensitivity, and loss. Patients may experience tooth sensitivity when eating cold or hot foods or beverages. If the sensitivity worsens, then a visit to the dentist is crucial.
Red and swollen gums
Gum redness and swelling are other potential signs of gum disease. Healthy gums should look pink and not swollen or inflamed. Inflammation and swelling can be a result of issues with the gums, and an appointment with the dentist is necessary. Hardened plaque on the gum is usually the cause of the inflammation.
Gum disease can quickly worsen without prompt and proper treatment. Advanced gum disease can cause severe pain when chewing or make the teeth feel loose or weak. If a tooth is lost due to periodontal disease, a tooth replacement will be required. To avoid reaching a stage requiring extensive dental treatment, visit the dentist for an evaluation immediately upon noticing signs of the disease.
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