There’s no shame in having gum disease or other periodontal disease concerns. In fact, millions have these issues – which add up to the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. But many of us have no idea we have gum disease until we’re told or we have severe symptoms. In the early stages, there aren’t many symptoms, and they can be easily overlooked.
As bacteria gather at the gum line and between teeth, however, they can multiply and give off toxins that cause gums to recede or pull away, exposing teeth roots to the harmful effects of plaque and tartar. Once bacteria gets down deep, it can no longer be brushed or flossed away. But dental and oral health treatment is available to correct the problem.
So do you have anything to worry about? When should you see a periodontist? Here are 10 sure signs you have periodontal disease that needs treatment:
• You see redness, swelling or bleeding from your gums, especially while you’re flossing or brushing. These symptoms are often the first signs that bacteria is attacking your teeth and gums.
• Your breath always smells bad and you have a sour or unpleasant taste in your mouth. While this can be from a stomach condition called acid reflux or other conditions, it’s a common sign of periodontal disease as bacteria and toxins build up.
• You can see that your gums are less prominent and have receded from their previous position. Deep pockets between teeth and gums may even be noticeable to the untrained eye.
• You experience shifting of your teeth from the usual alignment. You may also notice one or more teeth begin to feel loose.
• You notice a change in your bite that makes your teeth not come together in the same way. Loose teeth can create differences in the way your mouth feels and performs during chewing or biting.
• You experience pain when eating. While this can be from tooth decay or other causes, bacteria around the tooth root can cause you to experience pain from the pressure of biting down.
• You notice sensitivity to temperature extremes in your mouth. As the root area is more exposed due to receding gums, sensitivity to temperature differences is very common.
• You have gum disease in your family. Gum disease isn’t always entirely preventable if it runs in your family. Research has shown that parents, grandparents and siblings of those with gum disease often have it too, so get a periodontal evaluation even if you have no symptoms if periodontal disease runs in your family.
• You’re a smoker or former smoker. Simply put, smoking does a world of damage, including impairing circulation which prevents gums from getting oxygen and necessary nutrients. Healthy gums are better able to stave off infection than gums compromised by smoking.
• You’re diabetic. You see, bacteria love sugar, and it’s very common for people with diabetes to have more sugar in their saliva because their body doesn’t process it very well. Plus, being diabetic means you may also have impaired circulation.
Fortunately, gum disease can be partially reversed in many cases and can be stopped from doing you any further harm. That’s why treating periodontal conditions as soon as possible is essential.
For more about this topic, see the When To See A Periodontist page of our website.
And contact us here at Brighton Dental in San Diego. Dr. Woods is a dentist and periodontist who can stop gum disease from negatively impacting your life and put you on the road to better oral and dental health. Why not book an appointment?