Gum disease is an illness that adversely affects your gums. While the problem starts within the mouth, it has been seen to be a threat to other parts of the body beyond the gums and the teeth. It has been linked to diseases like diabetes, clogged arteries, heart disease, and stroke.
Identifying gum disease during its early onset can save you from spending a fortune on treatment. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is caused by infections of the parts around the teeth, including cementum, the gums, and periodontal ligaments. During the earliest stage of the disease, the infection is primarily around the gums; hence, the name gum disease. Left unattended, the illness could potentially spread to the healthy tissue in the mouth, leading to body-wide health problems. Continue reading for four signs that you may have gum disease.
Bleeding When Flossing or Brushing Teeth
Frequently brushing your teeth and flossing is the best way to keep gum disease at bay. However, if you notice some bleeding as you floss or brush, you may need to see a periodontist for further examination. Healthy gum tissue is quite resilient, especially when you're using the recommended soft bristle toothbrush. While in some cases you may bleed after aggressively brushing your teeth, the more likely cause is that the gum tissues have weakened due to an infection to the extent that they bleed easily.
Gum Redness and Swelling
Healthy gums are pink and firm. One of the symptoms of gum disease is swelling and/or reddening of your gums. Gum disease is essentially an infection in your mouth. As a response, your body will naturally release antibodies to attack the bacteria in the gums. This will result in swelling and a darker red colour in the gums. If your gums are looking swollen or reddish, ensure you make an appointment with a periodontist to discuss treatment.
As your gum tissues weaken, they start to detach from your tooth, creating a gap between them. This gap deepens, forming a void called a periodontal pocket, which often causes an abscess. Pus collects in this pocket, causing it to appear red and swollen compared to nearby tissue. This abscess requires immediate treatment as it poses a higher risk of bone loss compared to other symptoms of gum disease.
Tooth Looseness or Movement
Gum disease can cause loss of bone and gum attachment. The affected teeth will start to feel loose and start to shift to a different position. If at this stage, the disease goes untreated, you stand the risk of losing your teeth.
If you encounter any of these symptoms, ensure you see a periodontist immediately. Ignoring any of these symptoms could result in the loss of your teeth.