Gum disease is an infection in the gum tissues and can cause some unwanted side effects, such as your gums pulling away from the teeth. This can lead to deep pockets between your teeth and gums. Gum disease also makes your teeth more susceptible to tooth decay, and, if left untreated, gum disease may even lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, there are some early signs of gum disease that you can look out for to keep your mouth healthy and strong. Let’s learn about some of the more common signs of gum disease and what your dentist in St. Louis can do about it.
Bleeding While Brushing
According to The Academy of General Dentistry, bleeding gums can indicate damage in one or more tooth surfaces. While this may just be a sign of sensitivity, if you notice your gums bleed while you brush or floss, make an appointment with your dentist in St. Louis to rule out other possible causes. Early detection and treatment may prevent gum disease from progressing, so it’s important to take care of your teeth and gums at home between professional dental visits.
Swelling & Redness
One of the earliest warning signs of gum disease is swollen or red gums. If you notice swelling or a new redness in your gums, you may have gum disease. This is usually caused by plaque build-up at or below your gum line that has not been properly cleaned away. It’s important to see a dentist right away if you notice any changes in your gums. The longer you wait, the harder it becomes to treat periodontal disease because damage gets worse over time.
Pain & Sensitivity
While not every case of gum disease has pain, many people do experience painful gums as well as tooth sensitivity. Now, some people simply have sensitive teeth, so if that’s normal for you, there may be no cause for concern. However, if your teeth haven’t been sensitive to hot or cold before and the sensitivity lasts for more than a few days, you may have gum disease. Be sure to see your dentist right away.
Nobody wants to experience bad breath, but it happens to everyone. Sometimes bad breath is caused by something we ate or drank and goes away on its own. However, other times bad breath is persistent and chronic. That’s when your dentist in St. Louis may become concerned. Chronic bad breath is often a telltale sign of gum disease thanks to the bacteria involved in the infection. These bacteria release a sulfur-like smell and make some people experience bad breath. If you’re not brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal, it’s much easier for food bits to become trapped in your mouth, leading to bacteria and plaque buildup and, you guessed it, bad breath and perhaps gum disease.
Visiting your dentist in St. Louis at least twice a year is crucial for maintaining good oral health and catching gum disease early. Visits like these are important because, while you can’t really cure gum disease, you can slow its progression if caught early enough. Visiting your dentist regularly will make it much easier to catch potential issues before they become major problems.