Recognizing the Early Signs of Gum Disease

In a recent study, over half of all Americans over the age of 30 show mild to extreme signs of gum disease. This serious inflammatory condition is medically known as periodontal disease, and it can even lead to severe tooth loss if untreated.

Gum disease takes root in your mouth when ordinary bacteria accumulate and create infections. In unchecked cases of the disease, the bacteria can even enter your bloodstream and create catastrophic consequences, like heart disease, lung problems, diabetes, and pregnancy complications, that go further than just your dental health.

Luckily, Dr. Aziza Fatima Askari, DMD, and the team at Comfort Dental Spa in Farmington Hills, Michigan, are trained to help. Our team can help you determine whether your dental condition is gum disease and how to safeguard yourself from complications of the disease. Keep reading to learn about some symptoms of gum disease and what to do about them.

Persistent bad breath

Gum disease occurs when your mouth is exposed to high levels of bacteria that cause inflammation and infection. An early warning sign that bacteria have established themselves is if you experience chronic bad breath, also known medically as halitosis.

One of the first stages of gum disease is when bacteria colonies accumulate rapidly around your teeth and gums and consolidate to become plaque. These plaque buildups will release toxins, which you might notice in the form of unpleasant odor or a persistent bad taste in your mouth. If the gum disease is not stopped at this point, it may develop further by creating inflammation and tissue damage, so it’s important to track any general changes to your overall oral hygiene. 

Increased tooth sensitivity

As gum disease progresses in your mouth, you might notice that you feel sudden pain if you consume any particularly hot or cold food or beverages. This is because the inflammation of your gums causes them to recede, which exposes sensitive nerves and roots and causes your teeth to be more negatively affected by what you consume. Even if you have a history of sensitivity in your teeth, or if you experience sensitivity for only a short time, it’s still wise to let your doctors know so that they can check if gum disease is to blame.

Sensitive, swollen, or bleeding gums

In any stage of gum disease, from mild to severe, your gums might begin to radically change and weaken, a process which is also known as gingivitis. This can present as swelling, soreness, tenderness, and even chronic bleeding, especially when you brush, floss, or touch your gums.

It’s important to note that gingivitis could be a standalone symptom without a deeper cause. In that case, continuing to brush and floss regularly could actually help strengthen your gums and reverse the effects of standalone gingivitis. However, if you notice your gums aren’t as hardy as they used to be, even after improving your oral hygiene habits, it’s still good to notify your doctor and confirm whether gum disease might be a part of the picture or not.

Loose and weak teeth

A very significant symptom of advanced gum disease is the sensation of loose teeth. At this point, your gum tissue is no longer able to shield the upper parts of your teeth, and so it pulls back, exposing your permanent teeth to vulnerability. Whether you only feel one tooth wiggling or if you notice that several feel loose, reporting this symptom is a good way to treat the underlying cause, like gum disease, and make sure your teeth are safe in the long run.

Gum disease can be scary and leave permanent damage if it’s not properly treated. However, educating yourself about the risks and symptoms is a great way to help prevent a case of gum disease from getting worse. At the early stage of diagnosis, you can expect mild and simple treatments, such as strengthening your own oral hygiene through professional cleanings or through antibiotic injections meant to ease pockets of swelling. Even in more advanced and serious cases of gum disease, your major paths of treatment might include deep cleaning treatments such as root planing or scaling, which can serve to eliminate unhealthy tissue and try to preserve the healthy areas of your mouth.

We all appreciate a healthy, long-lasting smile that looks good and feels good. If you’re concerned about gum disease and want to learn about how to keep your smile for good, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Comfort Dental Spa team at 248-474-6434, or book an online appointment today.

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