It is possible, and quite common, for gum disease to present without any symptoms, so the most qualified person to check you for gum disease symptoms is actually your dentist. Even though you brush and floss twice a day, your dentist can see into the back of your mouth and evaluate how well you are doing with your dental hygiene. He or she can also warn you about the early signs of gum disease, and give you advice on how to preserve your oral health.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease occurs when the gums in your mouth are swollen and inflamed because of infection. The first stage is known as gingivitis, which can progress to periodontal disease if left untreated, and then to advanced periodontitis. It is very important to have gum disease treated as soon as possible, to prevent the spread of infection.
Gingivitis can usually be treated if it is intercepted early enough. Periodontitis causes changes to the gum structures that hold your teeth in place. During this stage it may be possible for spaces to form between the gum and tooth. As the periodontitis becomes more advanced, the teeth may start to loosen and fall out.
What Causes Gum Disease?
While it is essential that you brush and floss twice a day, to remove plaque from your teeth, it is possible for some of the plaque to get left behind in hard-to-reach spots. Over time this plaque hardens and turns into a substance called tartar, which can only be removed by your dentist. Tartar attracts more build up and also causes inflammation where it is in contact with your gums.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gum Disease?
Gingivitis symptoms are not always easy to spot, but visiting your dentist twice a year can help you to spot the early warning signs of gum disease. These include
- Gums that are red and swollen
- Gums that bleed when brushing
- A bad taste in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- Receding gums
- Visible changes in the way that your teeth meet / come together
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Regular visits to your dentist for a professional cleaning will ensure that all plaque and tartar is removed from the surface of your teeth, in order to prevent the onset of gum disease. If your gingivitis has progressed to a more advanced stage, it may be necessary to do root scaling and planing in order to protect your oral health. Your dental practitioner may remove bacteria and germ build up below the gum line and then smooth your tooth roots out so that they can reattach to your teeth.
Quitting smoking and reducing your intake of sweet, sugary foods can also improve your dental health and prevent the onset of periodontal disease, but your most effective defense is to practice good dental hygiene and to visit your dentist twice a year.
Are you concerned that you are experiencing early gum disease symptoms? Gum disease cannot self-resolve or be treated at home; please contact us for an appointment: (03) 5749 1208.