Did you know that nearly half of all Americans are living with a single type of disease? You may not hear about it on the news, but gum disease is a serious and extremely common disease that can affect the soft tissues of your mouth. Also known as “periodontal disease,” gum disease can affect our Denver patients’ overall health, and has been linked to heart disease and other systemic conditions in recent years. Staying on top of your oral health means remaining vigilant for early signs of gum disease.
Gum disease occurs when harmful oral bacteria cause infection and inflammation on the soft, supportive tissues in the mouth. The disease first begins as gingivitis, a milder form of gum infection and irritation, before progressing to periodontitis (if not properly treated). By receiving prompt care when you notice these telltale signs of gum disease, you can stop the spread of the disease and prevent future damage to your gums and teeth.
Inflamed or Red Gums
Gum tissue that looks to be swollen, irritated or inflamed could be a result of gum disease. Oral bacteria, when not properly kept in check, can release high amounts of harmful acids that not only erode tooth enamel but can irritate gum tissues as well. Gums that are bright red, rather than pink, are a warning sign of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease.
Blood in the Mouth
As gums become irritated, they can bleed more easily. Infrequent flossing can lead to delicate gum tissue between teeth that easily bleeds when floss does pass through. Gum tissue is meant to be quite tough, to withstand the daily chewing and eating our mouths sustain. Bleeding gums are a sign that gum tissues aren’t properly functioning, and have become weakened.
Sore or Tender Gums
Along with inflamed, red, bleeding gums, many patients can feel soreness or tenderness in areas most affected by gingivitis or gum disease. If you experience discomfort while eating or drinking, your gums are most likely fighting off infection from oral bacteria.
If gingivitis is left to progress, teeth can become loose in the mouth, and may even be lost. This is because your gum tissues help to keep teeth aligned and firmly in place. When gum disease weakens and loosens gum tissue, it can no longer properly protect and hold teeth in place. The result, many patients discover, is loose or wobbly teeth.
As gum disease progresses, periodontal “pockets” are formed near the gum line of teeth. These pockets are created when gums become loose near the gum line. The loosened gum line allows oral bacteria to sink below the surface, swelling to form a small pocket of infection. These pockets are not only painful and destructive, but can let off a bad odor. Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth could be a sign that bacteria have found their way below the gum line.
Fast Treatment is Key
When you experience any of these warning signs, it’s crucial to see your Denver dentist as soon as possible, so we can perform a deep cleaning procedure to rid your mouth from any periodontal disease or infection. Painful, unpleasant side effects are a sign that your gum tissue is in crisis. Always seek out dental care when your gums start telling you something is wrong.
To schedule a periodontal cleaning and examination, call our Denver practice at 303.534.2626.