Gum disease is not often spoken about, but it actually is quite prevalent! In fact, 75 percent of Americans over the age of 35 are affected. Unfortunately, gum disease (or periodontal disease) can have major consequences on your overall health—it has been linked to heart disease, respiratory illnesses, stroke, complications with diabetes, and even premature birth—so it is important to notice the warning signs! So how can you know if this “silent disease” has affected you? Keep an eye out for any of the red flags listed below. And if you’ve had one or more of these symptoms of gum disease, be certain to call your dentist straight away!
1. Bleeding Gums
Your gums should not bleed when you eat hard foods, brush, or floss. Therefore, if you’re noticing blood in your gums when you floss, it is likely due to bacteria buildup along the gum line, causing gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontitis, and should be taken seriously. Be sure to visit your dentist right away if you’re noticing this symptom.
2. Receding Gums
Have you noticed your teeth are starting to look longer when you smile? This may mean that your gums are pulling away from the base of your teeth. Caused by bacterial infection that destroys gum tissue, receding gums can be a big warning sign for gum disease.
3. Persistent Bad Breath
Bad breath, or halitosis, is another sign of gum disease. This is because odor-causing bacteria in the mouth can multiply and reproduce in unhealthy gums. So whether you have a persistent bad taste in your mouth or you feel your breath may have an unpleasant odor that just won’t go away, you may want to head to the dentist to see if this is a result of the disease.
4. Tender or Swollen Gums
If you notice that your gums are inflamed, swollen, or painful, this should set off the alarm bells. Inflammation of the gums occurs when your gums are trying to eject harmful bacteria that are causing an infection. This type of swelling and redness can wreak havoc on your gums and bone. It can even cause eventual tooth loss if left untreated.
5. Tooth Sensitivity
While there are a number of things that can cause dental sensitivity, it can also be a result of gum disease. This is because chronically inflamed gum tissue can expose the root of your tooth, making it quite sensitive to external stimuli. This exposure can be very harmful to your teeth, and should be treated promptly.
If you’re experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, it is important that you make an appointment at Metro Square Dental Associates as soon as possible. We will identify your risk for gum disease and other oral health issues, perform a thorough exam, and begin any necessary treatment as soon as possible. To schedule your check-up and bring your mouth back to health, call our Vernon Hills office today.