“Do I Have Gum Disease?”

“Do I Have Gum Disease?”

Posted by Dr. Thomas Flavin Sep 17,2021

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The bacteria that cause gum disease can spread throughout your mouth, causing you to develop symptoms in your gums, teeth, and other parts of your mouth. Listed below are examples of symptoms of gum disease.

Bleeding gums

The most common sign of gum disease is bleeding gums. When your gums bleed, it is due to inflammation of the gum tissue. This can happen when plaque and tartar buildup along the gum line or pockets of bacteria form under the gumline. This can lead to swollen and puffy gums that bleed when you brush or floss. Eventually, the gums can recede from the teeth and create pockets where even more bacteria and food debris can collect. This leads to more inflammation and infection in the mouth. At the first sign of bleeding gums, it’s best to see your dentist as soon as possible to prevent the progression of the disease.

Swollen gums

The early stages of gum disease, called gingivitis, can be painless and often go undetected. When plaque builds up on your teeth and isn’t removed, it irritates your gums and causes them to swell. You might notice this swelling first in the gum tissue around one tooth or a number of teeth, usually when you wake up in the morning. Your dentist can help treat your gum disease, but the earlier you catch it, the better. Usually, a course of antibiotics is enough to fight off the infection, but if your gum disease is severe, your dentist might recommend other treatments.

If left untreated, the swollen gums can become tender to the touch and even bleed when you get up in the morning. If you brush and floss regularly and still experience painful gums, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. You could also be experiencing other early signs of gum disease and should be evaluated by a professional to avoid complications down the road.

Identifying gum disease isn’t the only benefit of regular checkups with your dentist. A professional cleaning can also help remove plaque that a regular toothbrush can’t reach, reducing your risk of tooth decay and cavities. If you haven’t had a checkup in the last six months, you’re overdue for a trip to the dentist’s office!

Bad breath

One of the first symptoms you may notice is bad breath that doesn’t go away after brushing or flossing your teeth. This is because bacteria that irritate your gums and teeth are not eliminated easily, if at all. As the infection progresses, it also becomes more difficult to remove from your mouth. Your mouth will likely become sore and swollen due to the buildup of plaque, which will trap food particles and germs. Eventually, your gums may bleed when you brush or floss them. You may also notice gums that are receding away from your natural teeth.

It is normal to have a small amount of blood in the sink when you are brushing or flossing your teeth, but bleeding that lasts more than a couple of days may indicate a problem. If your gums are bleeding regularly, make sure to let your dentist know so that they can treat the problem and keep it from getting worse.

Receding gums

One of the common signs of gum disease is gum recession, which occurs when tooth roots are no longer adequately protected by gum tissues. The condition causes symptoms like a receding gum line and sensitive teeth. You may notice pain or discomfort in your teeth when you bite or chew. You may also notice that your gum line is red and swollen from irritation. When your gums are receding, your dentist will examine your gums to determine the extent of the damage and recommend treatment recommendations. This includes recommendations for at-home care as well as professional treatment for gum recession. Your dentist will also help you manage the symptoms of the condition, like sensitivity. Treatment varies depending on the cause of gum recession.

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