Early Signs of Gum Disease

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The health of your mouth is a vital component of your overall health. Without proper oral health and the maintenance of your teeth and gums, you could be risking tooth loss and the development of other diseases.

In fact, in the last 10 to 15 years, researchers have found links between oral health and inflammation in the body that could lead to heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and other serious medical conditions. This has been termed the “Oral-Systemic Link.”

When it comes to gum disease, it is no small thing. Let’s go over some early warning signs of gum disease, plus some risk factors that may contribute to it.

What is gum disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is an inflammatory disease that harms the tissues that support and surround your teeth. It is one of the most common reasons for tooth loss in adults.

In some cases, gum disease can cause severe tissue damage and tooth loss, and in more serious cases, bone loss. It can be caused by neglecting to brush and floss.

If food gets trapped in between the teeth and gums, bacteria in the form of plaque can build up and turn to tartar. If plaque gets down into the gum line and sits there, you could develop gum disease down the road.

3 Early Signs of Possible Gum Disease

#1: Gums that are swollen, bleeding, or sore.

Healthy gums won’t bleed when brushing your teeth or flossing. But if you are not staying on top of regular flossing and brushing, plaque will build up and irritate the gums, causing them to be red, swollen, and prone to bleeding. Inflammation of the gums and/or bleeding gums can happen during regular brushing or deep cleaning.

However, the bacteria will start attacking healthy gum tissue and, if not taken care of, it can destroy the fibers that attach the teeth to the gums. This is called gingivitis — and it’s the first and most common sign of the early stages of gum disease.

#2: Receding gum line.

Gums that recede are because of the gum tissue being lost around the tooth. This will begin to expose the root and make your teeth look longer. The exposed roots can put the rest of the tooth at risk of infection or decay and over time — even total tooth loss.

Gum recession can also be caused by brushing too hard or using hard bristle toothbrushes. Learning proper brushing techniques can minimize gum recession and keep your teeth healthy.

#3: Bad breath.

Everyone has bad breath occasionally. But if your breath is persistently bad, it could be because bacteria and decay are wreaking havoc in your mouth. Consulting with your dentist is very important if you have chronic bad breath.

Our team at New Image Cosmetic & Family Dentistry can help determine if you are facing early signs of gum disease. We’ll help clean your teeth, discuss any treatment plans that are necessary, and ensure that your mouth stays as healthy as possible.

Contact us today to make an appointment for a dental visit. We can spot early forms of gum disease and get you started on a path back to a healthy smile.

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