Watch Out for These 5 Warning Signs of Gum Disease

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Watch Out for These 5 Warning Signs of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious dental issue that can easily go unnoticed. But the longer that gum disease goes untreated, the more severe the consequences will be. Advanced gum disease often means more invasive treatments, and it’s a condition you’ll have to manage for the rest of your life. 

The best way to protect your oral health is to know how to spot the signs of gum disease, and to seek treatment if you notice any of them. 

What Is Gum Disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gums caused by inflammation from plaque buildup. Like high blood pressure, gum disease can silently develop and progress if left untreated, leading to serious consequences like tooth loss. And although gum disease can strike at any time, the condition is especially common amongst seniors—about 2 in every 3 adults over the age of 65 have gum disease. 

Five Early Warning Signs of Gum Disease

1: Red, Swollen, or Tender Gums

The first symptoms of gum disease to develop are redness, swelling, and tenderness. Sometimes, at this earliest stage, gum disease can be reversed by simply improving your oral hygiene routine. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily is crucial in eliminating the plaque and tartar buildup that causes gum inflammation. 

However, it’s still important to see your dentist right away if you notice any gum pain or changes in the color or texture of your gums. Only a dentist can determine how your far gum disease has progressed, and advise you on the best course of treatment

2: Bleeding Gums

Another early indicator of periodontitis is gums that bleed easily. While bleeding gums can sometimes be a result of brushing or flossing too harshly, bleeding is most often a sign of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. It’s not normal for your gums to bleed, so if you notice blood in the sink after you spit, you should see your dentist right away to determine the cause.

3: Persistent Bad Breath

Although it can be embarrassing, having bad breath after eating garlic or onions is nothing to worry about. However, persistent bad breath without an obvious cause can be a sign of gum disease. 

Chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, is usually caused by a buildup of bacteria in your mouth. As they break down sugars and produce acids that weaken your tooth enamel, the bacteria that form plaque give off a foul odor. They also attack and inflame your gums, so if you have halitosis, there’s a good chance you also have gum disease. 

4: Receding Gums

If your teeth start looking longer, it is because your gums have started to recede. Gum recession can happen naturally with age, or from brushing your teeth too aggressively. However, receding gums can also be a sign of advanced gum disease. 

Receding gums expose more of the tooth’s surface to bacteria, making them more vulnerable to tooth decay. Without treatment, the infection only goes deeper, causing the gums to pull away from the teeth. It can also expose the tooth roots, leading to sensitivity to hot and cold foods. 

Gum recession can even cause pockets to form between the gums and the teeth, which can easily collect food and bacteria. These periodontal pockets quickly make the infection worse, so it’s crucial that you seek treatment immediately if you notice receding gums. 

5: Loose Teeth

Your permanent teeth should never feel loose. But as gum disease progresses, over time the infection can start to attack the gum tissues and bone that directly support the teeth. This can cause teeth to become loose and even fall out. Your best chance at saving a loose adult tooth is to seek treatment right away. 

Gum Disease Treatment in Sun Lakes, Arizona

You should never ignore any of the signs of gum disease. While advanced gum disease cannot be cured, it can be managed with proper care. And the sooner you treat the condition, the easier it will be to keep it from getting worse.

If you have any concerns about the health of your gums, contact Dr. Saba & Associates. We excel at treating gum disease in any stage. Give us a call at 480-895-2111 today to make an appointment. 


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (7/19/2023). Photo by Paris Lopez on Unsplash