As a child, you most likely learned the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth. Unfortunately, your parents may not have explained how improper oral hygiene can lead to gum disease. Since it affects the look of your smile and the overall health of your mouth, teeth, and gums, understanding the dangers of gum disease is imperative. If you notice one or more of these early warning signs, you may be joining the half of American adults with gum disease.
Bleeding Gum Tissue
If you notice a little blood while brushing your teeth, do not panic. In most cases, this light bleeding while brushing your teeth and gums is only due to the pressure of the toothbrush. However, in some instances, the bleeding can be an early warning sign that you are developing gum disease.
If your gums bleed when touched or while brushing and they appear to be red and swollen, contact your dentist for further testing.
Receding Gum Tissue
Gum disease occurs when plaque and bacteria spreads across your teeth and gum tissue. As this unhealthy buildup spreads, it begins to eat through and erode your gum tissue. Over time, this erosion causes your gum tissue to recede, exposing the roots of your teeth.
Receding gum tissue is unappealing, so your smile will look drastically different. In addition, exposed roots will be in direct contact with air, food, and bacteria. This excessive exposure increases your risk of tooth decay, infections, and a more serious form of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss.
Brushing and flossing your teeth should never cause pain or discomfort. If you experience pain and sensitivity while brushing your teeth and gums, it may be due to periodontal disease.
Gum disease causes inflammation on the tissue surrounding your teeth. Moving the toothbrush across this inflamed tissue will only irritate your gums further, increasing pain and discomfort. This inflammation makes eating and drinking hot and cold food and drinks difficult, as well.
Your breath may have a foul odor after eating fish, garlic, or onions, but if your breath is unappealing continuously, it could be due to gum disease. Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, is one of the most common and most overlooked symptoms of gum disease.
Food and bacteria that builds up on your teeth and gums has an unpleasant scent. When this buildup spreads across your teeth and gums, the foul odor can become a permanent part of your mouth.
If you suffer with halitosis, your dentist may suggest restoring your teeth and gums back to a healthy state.
Living with gum disease is possible, but the side effects can be unattractive and uncomfortable. Contacting your dentist if you notice one or more of the above issues is key to your oral health.