Gum disease eats away at the tissues that surround the teeth. Ranked by dentists as the number one reason for tooth loss in adults, gum disease is caused by the accumulation of bacteria, mucous, and other particles in the mouth. There are two primary types of gum infections: gingivitis and periodontal disease. Here are four major signs that you may have one of these forms of gum disease.
Gingivitis is the first sign that you may have a gum infection. In this stage, your gums are red, swollen, and inflamed. You may also notice that your gums bleed while you brush your teeth. This bleeding is caused by an infection from the buildup of plaque and tarter on the teeth. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that will not result in the loss of the bone and tissue surrounding the teeth if treated by a dentist in this stage.
Receding gums form gaps between the teeth and the gum line, allowing for bacteria to accumulate in the open spaces. The first indication of gum recession is tooth sensitivity while drinking hot and cold beverages. Next, you may notice that a few teeth look longer than the other teeth. If left untreated by a dentist, an infected notch above the gum line will form and damage the bone structures of the teeth.
Medically termed as halitosis, chronic bad breath is a sign your gums may be infected with bacteria caused by a buildup of food particles and because you insufficiently clean your teeth and tongue. Toxins that form between the teeth and on the tongue irritate the gums and promote bacterial growth and an unpleasant odor. A thorough cleaning by a dental professional paired with using antibacterial mouth rinse will help reduce halitosis.
The dental professionals at Toothworks warn that loose and shifting teeth are tell-tale symptoms of gum disease. Toothwork’s team of orthodontists, periodontists, endodontists and oral surgeons state that ignoring inflamed gums, pus buildup around the teeth, bleeding gums, and receding gums will destroy the ligaments that hold the teeth in place. If these symptoms continue to be ignored, teeth will fall out.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate treatment to improve your oral health. Treatment methods depend on how far the infection has progressed. To achieve a healthy smile and prevent gum disease from recurring or resulting in tooth loss, floss between your teeth, avoid smoking, and follow up with dental visits.