Your Gums May Be Telling You Something Important

The gums are just as important as teeth when it comes to your oral health. While teeth are made of strong, durable materials that can withstand the impact of chewing and eating food, gums are a softer material that are more vulnerable to infection if left unchecked. The CDC estimated in 2012 that nearly half of all American adults suffer from gum disease in some form, with many simply not being aware of what gum disease is, its symptoms, or how to reverse its spread.

Common Types of Gum Disease

  • Gingivitis is more well known due to the amount of times you may hear it mentioned in dental care product advertisements, but it’s actually a fairly treatable condition. When plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, they can lead to bacteria growth that the gums respond to with inflammation to fight back against an infection. That inflammation manifests as swollen, red gum tissue. Dental hygienists can perform a cleaning to remove plaque and tartar, but regular dental care at home is usually enough.
  • Periodontitis is a more serious, advanced condition that occurs when gingivitis isn’t treated, and can lead to far more painful gum conditions. As the bacteria increases in the mouth, infection accelerates, and can lead to actual separation of teeth, or even tooth loss if left untreated.

Symptoms to Watch For

  • Bad breath may not always be a sign of gum disease, but if your breath remains bad despite frequent brushing, could be an indicator of an oral disease.
  • Red, puffy gums. This includes gums which have become sensitive or painful to the touch.
  • Bleeding gums, either while flossing or seemingly for no reason.
  • Teeth that are loose, or spaces that grow between teeth can also be signs of gum disease. Inflammation leads to increased pressure of the gum’s tissue, which physically pushes teeth away from one another. It can also push teeth away from their setting in the jaw.
  • Teeth that are “long” can be the symptom of your gums receding. It’s important to remember that receding gums can also be a sign of certain genetic conditions related to oral health. A dentist can provide you with an examination to determine the source.

Schedule an appointment with our practice, and we can provide you with a thorough examination and cleaning of both your teeth and gums.