Oral hygiene is an important part of everyday health. Proper oral hygiene can prevent problems from occurring inside the mouth. Not only can teeth greatly benefit from practicing good oral hygiene, but so can the gums. Gum disease can cause future problems with teeth and even bone loss. Certain warning signs may be an indicator that gum disease is an issue.
7 Warning Signs of Gum Disease
1.) Increased sensitivity.
While the actual tooth is not able to feel, your teeth may create sensations that can cause pain. Sensitive teeth can take the form of throbbing or even sharp pain. There can be several different causes for sensitive teeth including ineffective or infrequent brushing. Gum disease, however, is a common cause for a sensitive mouth.
2.) Teeth clenching.
Teeth clenching or teeth grinding can occur in the daytime or at night. Since we are less likely to notice teeth grinding at night, waking up with mouth pain or a headache can be a sign of teeth clenching. Frequent teeth grinding puts unneeded pressure on the tissues surrounding the teeth. This can become destroyed over time if the behavior cannot be fixed.
3.) Smoking cigarettes.
Cigarettes can cause gum disease at twice the risk of non-smokers. Smoking can also cause yellowing of the teeth and increase the risk for certain types of bacteria that are likely to cause infection. The infections caused by tobacco can frequently lead to painful gum disease.
4.) Bad breath.
If after brushing your teeth twice a day for an adequate amount of time, you still find your breath to smell foul, gum disease may be to blame. Gum disease can lead to chronic bad breath. Even mints and gum may not be able to mask the odor of breath that smells rotten or acidic. This is because bacteria is caught below the gum tissue which cannot be easily reached with a toothbrush. Studies show that in people with Alzheimer’s disease, their saliva flow is lessened than usual, leading to halitosis (bad breath).
5.) Swollen gums.
Swollen gums often look puffy and can feel uncomfortable. Depending on the cause, some swelling may be decreased by a change in diet or oral hygiene. If gums are swollen from gum disease, the swelling is likely to return after just a couple of weeks. Since gum disease can be caused by a bacterial infection, rinsing with salt water, or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever will not fix the problem.
6.) Loose teeth.
Gum disease can cause teeth to actually shift. Loose teeth can cause a different bite pattern which may indicate rapidly progressing gum disease. The affected area can become extremely sensitive or painful if the bone tissue is destroyed as well. Experiencing loss of teeth as an adult is usually a warning sign that something unusual is happening with the gums.
7.) Longer teeth.
While teeth can’t actually become longer, they can appear so if gum disease has occurred. As the gums recede, teeth can become bare and exposed toward the “bottom”. If a tooth has receded far enough, the area where the tooth meets the gum can be extremely painful and difficult to brush.
Gum Disease Can Be Dangerous
When left untreated, gum disease can become dangerous to your oral health. A serious gum infection can damage soft tissue and destroy bone over time. This can lead to teeth falling out or loosening from damaged gums.
When plaque builds up over time, a film of bacteria forms over the teeth. Once this happens, it can be very difficult to remove without professional help. If the bacteria harden, gum disease can lead to bleeding of the gums and can even create problems when eating.
Symptoms of gum disease should not be ignored. Even if the warning symptoms are mild or only a few pertain to an individual’s mouth, calling a dentist can prevent future problems. Gum disease that is treated early, can be fixed in a quick and cost-effective way. Waiting to take care of gum disease until all the symptoms are present can lead to loss of teeth, difficulty with chewing, and even bone destruction.
Visiting a dentist is the first step to accurately diagnosing and treating gum disease. A dentist can properly examine the gums for inflammation or bleeding. Using a small ruler-like probe, they can then measure the pockets surrounding the teeth. Occasionally a dentist may take x rays to see if bone loss has occurred. An initial appointment should not take long when assessing oral health.
Gum disease can be prevented. In addition to brushing twice daily and flossing, dental visits are crucial when it comes to having a healthy mouth. A regular routine visit can help prevent gum disease from happening through a specialized cleaning process and exam. To prevent and treat gum disease, Dentist Upper Mt Gravatt can help.
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