Gum disease is an exceedingly common oral health problem and is estimated to affect more than half of the U.S. population. Unfortunately, it is also very easy to ignore in the earliest stages of the condition and this means that it is often fairly advanced by the time it is diagnosed. This means that irreversible damage to your oral health may have already occurred.
While gum disease may be unpleasant and have significant consequences for your teeth and even your life, the good news is there it can be treated, and even prevented entirely.
Gum disease is an inflammatory oral condition that is caused by the invasion of bacteria-laden plaque into the soft tissue of the gums. When this happens, the gums become sore and swollen and may start to bleed when you brush your teeth. At this stage it is often known as gingivitis, but since the symptoms are fairly mild, they can be easily overlooked and ignored. However, if treatment isn’t sought fairly promptly, the condition can progress and become much more severe.
There are many different symptoms of gum disease and these tend to worsen as the condition worsens. Some of the signs that you should look out for include:
Red, swollen and tender gums
Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, floss or eat particularly hard food
Teeth that look elongated as a result of gum tissue receding
Pus between your gums and teeth
Persistently bad breath
Sores in your mouth
Teeth that seem loose
A change in the way that your teeth come together or in the way that your partial denture fits
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist so that your teeth and gum health can be professionally assessed.