5 Signs You May Be Suffering From Gum Disease

Would it surprise you to hear that 75% of American adults over the age of 35 get gum disease? It’s a little talked about condition that can have a real impact on your health.

Without treatment, gum disease can change from the mild form we call gingivitis to the severe type, periodontitis. Left untreated, periodontitis has been linked to triggering heart disease, stroke and even premature birth.

It’s often called a “silent disease” because it can creep up on you without warning. Our dentist here at Soft Touch Dentistry, Andrew Owyoung, DDS, has put together his list of the five key signs that you, too, could be suffering from gum disease.

1. Bad breath that won’t go away

It’s normal to get bad breath from time to time, particularly when eating strongly flavored food, but persistent lousy breath that sticks around is a red flag that gum disease is present. Halitosis, the technical term for bad breath, is caused by gum disease when odor-causing bacteria are able to reproduce in unhealthy gum tissue.

If others have remarked on your bad breath or you’re embarrassed because you feel your breath may be unpleasant, come and visit us at Soft Touch Dentistry to determine if gum disease is to blame.

2. Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth

It’s not normal for your gums to bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, or even when eating hard food. If you are noticing streaks of blood when you spit out your toothpaste or can see your gums bleeding when you floss, it’s likely caused by a buildup of bacteria along your gum line.

Bleeding gums is a sign of gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, and is something that can be treated to prevent periodontitis from developing and potentially causing tooth loss and other issues.

3. Receding gums are another red flag that gum disease is present

While your gums will recede naturally over time, this process can be triggered prematurely by the presence of gum disease. If you notice your teeth are starting to look longer, or that you have an uneven gum line, it’s likely that receding gums are to blame.

Gum recession is caused by the bacterial buildup from the gingivitis destroying the gum tissue around your teeth. It not only looks unsightly and makes your smile look wonky and uneven, but it’s also a warning flag that gum disease is active and progressing to the more serious form of periodontitis.

4. Sensitive teeth when eating and drinking

Lots of things can cause tooth sensitivity, including very hot or cold drinks, acidic fruits, and even grinding your teeth at night; but it can also be a direct result of gum disease. As gum disease progresses through your mouth, the gum tissue becomes chronically inflamed, which can expose the root of your tooth, making it extremely sensitive to anything it touches.  

5. Tender and swollen gums

Your gums should be pink in color. If they look red, inflamed, swollen, or are causing you pain, you should be getting a dental exam as soon as possible.

Inflammation is caused by the harmful bacteria from gum disease causing an infection. Not only can this swelling and redness damage your gums, but it can also lead to painful abscesses and the eventual loss of your tooth if left untreated.

If you’re experiencing any of these warning signs of gum disease, don’t delay. Book an appointment with Soft Touch Dentistry today by calling the practice at 916-581-2385 or send us a message online.

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