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4 Warning Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a condition that begins with bacterial growth in the mouth. If the problem is not treated early, it could lead to the loss of teeth due to the destruction of the tissue that surrounds the teeth.
Gum disease is usually preceded by gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. However, gingivitis does not always lead to gum disease.
Four warning signs of gum disease
If one notices blood in the sink when they are brushing their teeth, it could be a sign that they have gum disease. A mild variety of bleeding is the aforementioned gingivitis. In its early stages, gingivitis is an indicator that one’s gums are infected. If the infection is not treated quickly, it can travel below the gum line into the bone, where it becomes a more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis.
Some warning signs of gum disease include:
1. Bad breath
The mouth is the home of millions of bacteria. The bacteria feed on plaque, and the more plaque a person has in their mouth means the more food for the bacteria to thrive on. The bacteria in the mouth release toxins that can irritate the gums and teeth and have a foul smell.
If the bad breath persists, it is an indicator of gum disease because having only gingivitis does not cause a significant change in a person’s breath.
2. Sensitive teeth
If a person’s teeth become sensitive when they eat or drink something that is either hot or cold, it is a sign that something is wrong. Unless the teeth recently experienced trauma, the sensitivity was likely caused by shrinking gums, which is an indicator of gum disease. When the gums recede, the sensitive part of the tooth is exposed, known as the dentin, which makes the teeth sensitive to hot or cold temperatures.
3. Loose teeth
Gum disease can attack the bones that hold the teeth in place, making them move or loosen. If periodontitis is left untreated, it can change the way the teeth fit together when a person bites, which can eventually lead to the teeth falling out.
4. Swollen gums
This is one of the most noticeable signs of gum disease. The gums will feel tender or painful to the touch and will bleed easily when attempting to brush the teeth or floss. In severe cases, it can lead to the creation of pockets, a space between the gum and tooth where bacteria thrive.
Can do dentists treat gum disease?
When it comes to treating gum disease, the goal is to control the infection. This can be done using several options, which include:
- Deep cleaning: The dentist will clean under the gum line
- Medication: The dentist will prescribe antibiotics to deal with the infection
- Surgery: This is done if deep cleaning or medication do not work
- Gum grafting: This involves taking healthy tissue from another part of the mouth to cover any exposed tooth roots
Gum disease can be painful and also lead to the loss of your teeth, which is why it should be taken care of as soon as possible. If you have any of the symptoms listed, schedule an appointment with a dentist today to get your mouth checked out.
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