Gum diseases refer to a group of conditions that affect the tissues and bones supporting teeth. These issues usually develop due to bacteria buildup in the mouth, leading to inflammation and infection in the gums.

A woman holding her jaw in pain.

Gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, is typically characterized by red, swollen and bleeding gums without any pain. With proper treatment early on and good oral hygiene habits in place, gingivitis can be reversed and prevent further progression.

Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease. This condition involves inflammation and infection in the gums as well as damage to the bones and tissues that support teeth. With time, gums may recede and teeth may become loose or fall out entirely.

  • Bleeding Gums: One of the most common signs of gum disease is bleeding during brushing or flossing your teeth. If your gums bleed when brushing or flossing your teeth, it could be indicative of gingivitis - an early stage of gum disease.

  • Signs of Periodontitis: Healthy gums should be pink and firm. If yours appear red and swollen, this could be indicative of periodontitis.

  • Receding Gums: Gum disease can cause your gums to pull away from the teeth, leading to tooth sensitivity and an unattractive appearance. If you notice that your teeth appear longer than usual, this could indicate receding gums.

  • Tooth Sensitivity: If your teeth become sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, this could be indicative of gum disease. Exposed roots are especially vulnerable to sensitivity due to their exposed nature.

  • Bad Breath: Halitosis, or bad breath, may be indicative of gum disease. This is because bacteria responsible for gum disease produce an unpleasant odor when inhaled.

  • Loose Teeth: As gum disease progresses, it may cause your teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. If you observe any difference in how they fit together or if they can be wiggled with fingers, this could be indicative of an unhealthy state of your gums.

In addition to these warning signs, there are certain risk factors that could increase your likelihood of developing gum disease. These include smoking, diabetes, hormonal changes, genetics and certain medications.

If you notice any of the warning signs of gum disease or have any risk factors for it, now is the time to get checked out by your dentist. Early treatment can help keep the condition from worsening and causing long-term harm to both teeth and gums.

Prevention is key when it comes to gum disease. You can reduce your risk by brushing and flossing regularly, using a fluoride mouthwash, quitting smoking, and maintaining an healthy diet. Furthermore, having regular dental cleanings every six months will help remove plaque buildup and identify any potential issues early.

In conclusion, gum disease is a widespread condition that can have serious repercussions if left untreated. Being aware of the warning signs and risk factors for early detection helps you catch it early and protect your teeth and gums from long-term harm. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms or have any doubts, be sure to book an appointment with your dentist right away.

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