Gum disease is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss or even damage to the bones in your jaw. If you think you might have gum disease, it is vital to see a dentist to find out what you can do to bring it under control. The following five symptoms are all signs of gum disease that you can't afford to ignore.
1. Bleeding When You Clean Your Teeth
If you spit blood into the sink after brushing your teeth, you need to see your dentist to find out why. Brushing your teeth with a soft brush and gentle pressure should not cause healthy gums to bleed. You also need to pay attention to bleeding when you floss. Some bleeding is normal if you haven't been flossing regularly, but if your gums are still bleeding after flossing every day for one week, you should see your dentist.
2. Persistent Bad Breath
It's normal for breath to get a little smelly when you eat strongly flavoured foods or forget to brush your teeth, but if you struggle with bad breath that doesn't go away no matter what you eat or how careful you are with dental hygiene, you may have gum disease. The bacteria that cause inflammation around your gums also create bad odors. Rather than covering up the smell with gum or breath mints, see your dentist to get to the root of the problem.
3. Pain When You Chew
Chewing transmits pressure through your teeth to your gums. If your gums are tender or inflamed, chewing tough foods could lead to pain. Pay attention to the way your gums feel next time you chew your way through an overcooked steak; any sensitivity could be an early warning sign of gum disease.
4. Loose Teeth or Dentures
Advanced gum disease causes teeth to loosen and eventually fall out. If your teeth are loose, see your dentist as soon as possible. Loose dentures could also be a sign of a problem, as gum disease changes the shape of your gums, preventing your dentures from fitting properly.
5. Receding Gums
Are your teeth looking longer than usual? Gum disease can cause gums to recede, exposing a longer section of tooth. Compare your smile in the mirror to old pictures to spot signs of receding gums.
Gum disease is easier to treat if you catch it at an early stage. Don't ignore the signs; see your dentist (like those at Shellharbour City Dental) to bring your gum disease under control and protect your overall oral health.