Gum disease is something that is common among many people, and can have a serious impact on one’s health if not identified and treated early. It can be treated though if you visit a dentist on a regular basis and practice good oral health on a regular basis. While this may sound like dental care 101, small regular steps can go a long way.
There are some signs that you can look for to let you know that you might be at an elevated risk for gum disease. However, it is something that is typically silent in nature, and not always easy to discern to the casual eye, until there are conditions brought on by advanced stages of the disease.
The first thing you can look for is redness or tenderness in the gums. They might also be swollen when you look in a mirror. Consistent bleeding while brushing or flossing is another common sign. This could be misleading though because there are other causes for bleeding gums. You might have a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard, or you might be cutting the gums with the floss that you use. If you see blood when eating hard foods, then this is when you should start to be concerned with gum disease. Examine the gums for any receding. This is when the gums will pull away from the teeth, and expose more of the tooth. As this happens, the teeth will look larger or longer than they really are.
[media-credit id=3 align=”alignleft” width=”350″][/media-credit]Your teeth should never be loose, and if they are, this can also be a sign that you are at risk for gum disease. If you notice any separating of the teeth, especially the front teeth, then this can be an indication that the gums are infected. As the gums recede, they will create more room in the mouth, and the teeth can shift. One of the things that is not appealing and can be quite an alert is pus between the teeth and gums. If you notice this, then it is time to see a dentist immediately. Pus is often an indication that there is an infection, and an infection in the mouth can quickly get in the bloodstream or even to the brain.
Common diseases and medical conditions can also bring on a heightened risk of gum disease. For example, many people who have diabetes need to be aware of gum disease because of the high glucose levels in the body. The high glucose can create more bacteria that will stay on the teeth.
Gum disease is preventable in many cases, if you maintain good oral health and watch out for some of the potential signs that you may have the condition. In all instances, regular check ups and examinations by your dentist are highly recommended and will help minimize the potential harmful impact of the disease. In cases where periodontal disease treatment (or periodontal “gum” therapy) is needed, your dentist can discuss plans of treatment with you. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the greater the possibility you won’t have to experience pain and discomfort, permanent tooth damage or the added expense of treatments needed for more severe cases that come from neglect and poor oral health.
Just like your teeth and smile, you want healthy gums for a lifetime as well.