When it comes to gum disease, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that the advanced stages affect approximately 64.7 million people — or half of Americans 30 or older. Unfortunately, this chronic inflammatory disease doesn’t stay confined to your mouth. Instead, it increases your risk of systemic health problems, like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.
Now for the good news. Learning to spot the signs of gum disease can help you detect a problem and get treatment fast. Not only does this make the process easier, but it also reduces your chances of developing other complications.
Our team at The Dental Touch in Oakland, California, provides full-service dental solutions with the latest technology in a family-friendly atmosphere. They shared these common signs of gum disease that you should never ignore.
These are some of the most obvious signs of an oral health issue, especially in the early stages of gum disease. The medical name for this stage is actually gingivitis, a term that describes swollen and inflamed gums. At this point in the disease, your gums often bleed when you brush or floss and feel tender or sore to the touch.
Do you cringe at the thought of drinking a hot or cold beverage? Having increased tooth sensitivity can be an early sign of gum disease. This symptom develops because the inflammation in your mouth can damage your gum tissue and bone, leaving the sensitive roots of your teeth exposed.
If you find yourself struggling with persistently bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth, it’s time to schedule an appointment. These symptoms develop when bacteria build up on your teeth and gums and harden into plaque, causing bad breath for a few reasons.
First, the bacteria that causes plaque smells bad, especially if you have bits of food caught in your teeth or on your tongue. But that’s not all. The bacteria coating your teeth, gums, and tongue also release smelly gases and stimulate toxin formation, which activates your immune system so inflammation occurs.
This process leads to gum irritation and tissue damage in your mouth, issues that can also contribute to bad breath.
Teeth that seem loose or unstable are an obvious sign of a problem. As gum disease progresses, your gums can start pulling away from your teeth, causing pockets or gaps to form. Over time, these changes not only affect the appearance of your smile, but your permanent teeth become more and more unstable. This puts you at risk of losing one or more teeth.
As we said earlier, the good news is that gum disease responds to treatment. And, the sooner you detect a problem, the easier it is to restore your oral health.
During your appointment, we assess your oral health and determine how far your gum disease progressed. Based on that information, we could recommend a variety of solutions, such as:
For advanced gum disease, we could recommend surgical interventions like flap surgery to remove tartar and reduce pocketing or bone and tissue grafts that regenerate lost tissue.
If you’ve noticed signs or symptoms of gum disease, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Contact our office by calling 510-324-9096 or booking a visit online today.