Signs of Gum Disease

Dental HealthWhen looking for dental products, you’ve probably seen toothpaste and mouthwash that’s boasted it could help prevent gum disease. You might be wondering what gum disease is exactly, and why it’s so dangerous. Among adults, gum disease (periodontitis) is the main cause of tooth loss. Gum disease, in fact, is often associated with more dangerous diseases like diabetes, and some scientists even argue it increases your risk of developing heart disease.

You need to know the signs, because if you catch gum disease early, then the treatment for it will be relatively easy.

When Should I See a Dentist?

When you have pale pink, firm gums, this is a good sign that your gums are healthy. If not, watch out for these following symptoms, as they can be signs of periodontitis:

Swollen Gums

There are several factors which can lead to swollen gums, but if they don’t go away after a few days, contact a Tulsa dental specialist for help.

Tender and Bleeding Gums

If your gums feel tender to the touch and consistently bleed whenever you floss or brush, then it is highly likely you have gum disease and need to see a dentist.

Receding Gums, New Spaces Between Teeth, and Loose Teeth

One common sign of periodontitis is when your teeth’s roots become exposed, spaces begin to form which weren’t there before, and if your teeth become loose. While these can happen independently from gum disease, you should still see a dentist about it.

Pus Between Gums and Teeth

While pus between teeth and gums can be caused by dental abscesses, it is also a symptom of gum disease. In either situation, you should have a dentist examine your gums to learn which it is.

Bad Breath and a Bad Taste in the Mouth

Bad breath or a bad taste can be caused in many ways, but if it persists then you should see a dentist to see if it is caused by periodontitis.

Red Gums or Purple Gums

While red gums can be caused by other factors, if you suffer from one of the other symptoms then red gums can be a sign you have gum disease. Purple gums, on the other hand, means you almost certainly have gum disease.

Types of Gum Disease

Periodontitis comes in different forms. For example, chronic periodontitis is one of the most common forms which affects adults, and in some cases children. In rarer instances, children and early adults can suffer from aggressive periodontitis.

Cause of Gum Disease

Plaque leads to gum disease. Sugar and starch creates plaque (a sticky bacterial deposit on your teeth) when it comes in contact with your oral bacteria, but it is easily removed by brushing and flossing. You will need to brush and floss regularly, though, since plaque will form again after 24 hours.

When plaque builds up, it can develop into tartar. If tartar around your teeth’s gum lines isn’t cleaned, then it can cause an infection. Eventually, the inflammation and infection will lead to pockets forming between the teeth and gums, which, in turn, will fill up with bacteria. Eventually, these pockets of bacteria will start destroying bone and tissue, and you will begin to lose your teeth.

If you need to have tartar cleaned, or want to know if you suffer from gum disease, visit a Tulsa dentist to protect your oral health.