Recognizing the Symptoms of Gum Disease is Key to Restoring Oral Health

Recognizing the Symptoms of Gum Disease is Key to Restoring Oral Health

28 Oct Recognizing the Symptoms of Gum Disease is Key to Restoring Oral Health

Gum disease is not a pleasant topic to think about.  Many people feel that their oral care routine is enough to keep their mouths healthy, but there may be more going on in the gums than they realize.  If you have ever brushed your teeth and seen specks of blood, known as  pink in the sink, that could be the first warning sign that you have gum disease.

Gingivitis is the most common, and most mild, form of gum disease. It causes redness, irritation, swelling, and inflammation of the part of the gum at the base of your teeth.  While many people mistakenly assume gingivitis poses no serious threat, it is important to take the disease seriously and seek prompt treatment.

If gingivitis remains untreated, it can travel below the gum line to the bone, leading to much more serious conditions such as periodontitis and tooth loss.  Both gingivitis and periodontitis have been linked to more serious conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia, osteoporosis, and even forms of cancer. Early detection of gum infections can greatly reduce and even reverse the damage of gingivitis.

Recognizing the symptoms of gum infections is key to managing the gum disease. Red and swollen gums are often times the first signal that all is not well in your mouth. As gum disease typically begins at the gum line, you may experience tenderness, pain, and bleeding in this area while brushing and flossing your teeth.  

If your teeth begin to look longer than they used to, it is most likely due to the shrinking of the gums, causing more of the tooth to become exposed.  As the gum disease begins to break down the bone, the gums start to separate from the tooth, creating a pocket of empty space. 

Receding gums can lead to increased tooth sensitivity.  If a sip of a cold drink makes you wince, it may be due to the fact that the sensitive part of the tooth has become exposed by receding gums.

If the gum disease is allowed to progress, it can attach the bones that hold your teeth in place, causing them to shift or become loose.  Periodontitis is the main cause of tooth loss, and it can even change the bite pattern of your jaw line.  This serious stage of gum disease is the most difficult to treat, but seeking treatment will prevent further bone damage and tooth loss.

Fortunately, gum disease can be treated through ongoing supervision of your dental team.  There are many advanced methods and approaches to treatment today that allow your dental team to provide individualized plans for restoring the health of your mouth.  The dental and periodontal team at Dentist New Braunfels offer complete oral health evaluations and treatment planning for patients who suffer from gum disease and other oral complaints.  Taking action is the first step to creating a healthy and beautiful smile.

Daniel Allen, DDS

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