Do you know the early signs of gum disease? Catching gum disease early can save your teeth and improve your oral health. Check out our guide for more info.
Nearly half of adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.
This condition may sound painful, and it can be. But the early signs of gum disease are much more discreet than the onset of its more severe side-effects. So, you may be unaware that you’re on the path to periodontitis.
Keep an eye out for these five symptoms, the warning signs of gum disease.
- Bad Breath
We all wake up with less-than-fresh breath in the morning. However, after a tooth-brushing session, that stale scent should disappear.
If you find yourself dealing with bad breath all day long, it could be a sign of a bigger problem. For some people, it’s bacteria or tooth decay. But it could also be an early stage of gum disease that’s causing the smell.
- Bleeding, Swollen or Sore Gums
When you brush or floss your teeth, do your gums bleed? Did they feel sensitive or swollen before that?
If so, you may be experiencing one of the first signs of gum disease: gingivitis. This symptom is a very mild form of gum disease that occurs when bacteria-based plaque develops on your teeth. The build-up irritates your gums.
You can fix gingivitis by gently, diligently flossing for a couple of weeks to remove the plaque. If your gums still bleed or feel sore, see your dentist.
- Receding Gums
Perhaps you’ve noticed that your gumline has started to retreat, exposing more of your teeth. This symptom is another one of the signs of gum disease.
Disappearing gums is a cause for concern because, as it progresses, it can leave your root exposed. You’ll then open up the most sensitive part of your tooth to decay and damage.
Some people cause gum recession by brushing with too much force. If you’re a gentle brusher, though, you might need your dentist’s help, as this post explains. They might send you to a periodontist, who can come up with a treatment plan to stop the erosion.
- Sensitive Teeth
Your teeth shouldn’t hurt when you drink something hot or cold. But if you find yourself cringing with every sip of tea or bite of ice cream, you might have dentin hypersensitivity, also known as tooth sensitivity.
In most cases, thin tooth enamel or exposed roots cause this condition. We already know the latter is a sign that gums have started receding, thus making sensitive teeth another early predictor of gum disease.
- Loose Teeth
It’s been a long time since you noticed a wiggly tooth in your mouth. As a kid, that was a fun discovery, especially if the tooth fairy visited your house.
As an adult, though, you don’t want to find loose teeth lingering in your mouth. If you have them, though, they could be another early sign of gum disease.
Molars, incisors, canines, front teeth — it doesn’t matter. If your teeth have started to loosen, it could be that your gum health has deteriorated, thus releasing their grip on your teeth.
I Am Experiencing the Early Signs of Gum Disease. Now What?
Perhaps you’ve read this and identified with the symptoms on the list. If you’re experiencing the early signs of gum disease, you should make an appointment to see your dentist, who can advise you on your next steps. The right care can help restore your healthy gums — it’s great that you saw the signs early.
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