29 Apr 5 Signs You May Have Gum Disease and How to Treat It
Although the importance of brushing our teeth is stressed when we are children, even as adults, we may not fully understand the immense importance of our oral hygiene. Our oral and dental health, just like other parts of our body, is interlinked and affects more than meets the eye. For example, our saliva is the first line of defense to fight incoming bacterial and viral infections. Keeping your mouth clean and caring for your teeth may help to prevent major health problems in the future, like strokes, heart attacks, gum disease, diabetes and much more.
Periodontitis, best known as gum disease, affects about 80% of the United States adult population, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Knowing about this shocking statistic may leave you concerned and wondering, “why is there not more done to prevent it.” Our best assumption is that many people are not aware that they have it and/or have knowledge of the signs. Here, we outline the 5 most common signs of gum disease, in hopes that it encourages our clients to be proactive.
1. Bleeding & Swollen Gums
Red colored and swollen (lumpy) gums are a few signs that you may be on your way to worsening dental health problems. Healthy gums should appear light, flat and tight. There should be no bulbous bumps or discoloration, if there is please visit your dentist.
Are you experiencing bleeding with your nightly floss, during visits with your hygienist or when you brush a little too hard? The blatant truth is that healthy gums do not bleed, period. The only chance of bleeding is if your mouth faces severe trauma – like accidently poking yourself with a steak knife during dinner. No one wants to admit to having gingivitis (beginning stages of gum disease) or periodontitis (gum disease), but the reality is that the signs are very clear, and it is better to catch it early.
2. Endless Bad Breath
If you find yourself with constant bad breath—no matter how many ounces of mouthwash you swish around—you may be at risk for worsening oral hygiene and developing gum disease. Yes, we all may experience temporary bad breath in the morning, after our favorite morning pick me up (coffee) and smoking, but if nothing seems to help you should contact your dentist. A bacterium is developing; it builds up in the gums, around and in the spaces between your teeth causing this malodor to be ever present. Bad breath is embarrassing, so why not do something about it.
3. Receding Gums
Have you noticed your teeth seem longer than before? Gum recession is what you are experiencing, but unlike receding hairlines that come with age, gum recession is not a natural occurrence; and it should be treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Gum recession is the loss of gum tissue around our teeth that may eventually lead to tooth loss and is caused by factors like weakened enamel and root exposure. Fortunately, this advancement can be halted. A dental professional will keep track of your gum progression and recommend the best treatment and guide you through the steps to maintain your best dental health.
4. Teeth Sensitivity & Pain Chewing
In regard to periodontitis, teeth sensitivity may be directly related to your receding gum line. When our teeth’s roots are exposed, they decay more quickly and are more susceptible to tooth loss. Tooth sensitivity may become more obvious if you experience pain after drinking a hot or cold beverage. If you are shuttering after every sip of refreshing ice water, you may want to consider making a dentist appointment to address potential problems. In more severe circumstances, during the later stages of gum disease development watch for slight shifts in your bite and pain when chewing.
5. Loose Teeth
Obviously, tooth loss is damaging to your confidence, as well as your health, so why risk it?
Most people believe that our teeth are rooted into the bone, however, this is a misconception. Our teeth are actually attached to our bones by a small ligament called, periodontal ligament or PDL for short. Gum infections affect, not only the tissues surrounding our teeth, but also the PDL and detachment is a serious possibility. Wistfully, if your teeth become loose—falling out is unavoidable. Luckily, the advancements in dentistry and dental surgery over the past many decades, and even the last few years, have allowed the professionals to work their “magic” and help you once again smile with confidence.
Now that you are aware of a few signs of gum disease, do not hesitate to see your local dentist for exams and treatment. As mentioned above, gingivitis and severe tooth loss is highly treatable. Your dentist may recommend changes in your oral hygiene practices (flossing and brushing technique), suggest nutrition changes, like decreasing acidic and sugary beverages and seeing your hygienist for regular cleanings.
If you are already in the later stages of gum disease or just seeing the first signs, Montclair Dental Spa is here to help. Our dental professionals, Dr. Moussa and Dr. Blum specialize in oral surgery and cosmetic dentistry, with the use of the most advanced methods and technology. For example, our office has a laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP) available to our patients. It deals with inflammation and infections in a simple, elegant and less invasive process. A truly revolutionary protocol that will change the face of cosmetic dentistry and allows more people to gain confidence with their “red carpet” worthy smiles!
Call us at Montclair Dental Spa Today (973)-744-1527 to schedule your dental exam today and learn what you can do to maintain the best possible oral health—ultimately your overall physical health!