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Think You Could Have Gum Disease? 5 Warning Signs to Look Out For

Dentist in Mt. Olive Illinois

Periodontal (gum) disease is unfortunately more common than you might think. In fact, 70% of adults over the age of 65 have some form of the illness. However, not many people are aware they have the condition, as many of the symptoms go unnoticed. In many cases, periodontitis can progress with very little pain and few uncomfortable symptoms. While the easiest way to detect gum disease in its earliest stages is to visit your dentist every six months, there are symptoms you can also look out for. If you notice one or more of the following warning signs for gum disease, be sure to schedule a dental check-up right away.

1. If you have unexplained bleeding…

Many people misinterpret bleeding gums to indicate they’re brushing or flossing too rigorously. However, this is actually a sign of gingivitis—an infection of the gums and the first stage of gum disease. While this is certainly the easiest stage of gum disease to treat, it can often be overlooked. Therefore, if you notice blood in the sink after you brush or floss, or you often have a metallic taste in your mouth, be certain to visit your dentist right away. This will allow you to tackle the infection before it can worsen.

2. If you have pain or inflammation of the gums…

If your gums are infected, they will often become swollen, red, or painful. Again, seeking treatment for this sooner rather than later is of utmost importance. Otherwise, this infection could possibly enter the bloodstream (and cause harm to the rest of the body) or spread to the jawbone.

3. If your teeth look longer than before…

Those with gum disease may notice their teeth begin to look longer. This is a result of a receding gum line. When the plaque on your teeth releases acids on the gums, it can cause an infection that can ultimately destroy these supporting tissues. Your gums may pull away from the teeth gradually as a result, making your smile look “toothy.”

4. If you have bad breath (halitosis)…

When your gums are affected by periodontitis, it causes your gums to form pockets around the teeth. Depending on the severity of your condition, these gum pockets can be quite deep—making it easy for them to trap food and bacteria. These particles can cause a very unpleasant odor when trapped there for too long. Therefore, if you notice an unpleasant smell on your breath, you could possibly have periodontitis.

5. If you have loose teeth…

Unfortunately, loose teeth is a sign of advanced gum disease. At this stage, the illness has already begun to attack the gums and the jawbone, so your teeth are given less stability. With advanced gum disease, your teeth can begin to feel loose or even fall out. At this stage, the treatment will likely be surgical intervention.

The easiest way to treat gum disease is to prevent it entirely. By visiting your dentist every six months, they will be able to detect and treat periodontitis at its earliest stages—allowing you to remain in good oral health. To set up your next appointment and keep your gums in good condition, call Advanced Family Dental & Orthodontics in Mt. Olive today.

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