Five Tips for Recognizing Gum Disease
Nearly everyone knows that if you have a toothache, a chipped or cracked tooth, or any other dental pain or discomfort, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist. However, many people consider gum-disease—gingivitis and periodontal disease—symptoms as too trivial to merit a dental examination. This, your Marco Island dentist will tell you, is a mistake, because periodontal disease is a serious condition that can easily lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
Researchers also believe that there is a connection between periodontal disease and other diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and some cancers. Depending upon the other disease, the connection could be based on the bacteria responsible for periodontal disease, and/or due to the immune system’s inflammatory response.
So in the interest in maintaining your oral health, as well as your overall health, you should always book an appointment with your dentist if you experience any of the following five gingivitis and periodontal disease symptoms:
Bleeding Around the Gums
Pretty much everyone experiences bleeding around the gums on occasion, whether by brushing too vigorously or perhaps by a shard of food—like a nacho chip bit—that bites into the gumline. But if you are prone to such bleeding every time you brush or start having episodic bleeding with brushing that comes and goes every few days, it’s probably time for a dental assessment of your gum health. If it’s a newly emerging problem, it could be gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease. But if you’ve been prone to bleeding around the gums for some time, the gingivitis may have crossed the thin line into periodontal disease.
Swollen, Tender Gums
Likewise, most people experience swollen, tender gums on rare occasions. But if the tenderness and swelling are persistent, and marked by excessive red coloration, this is likely a clear sign of the inflammation caused by gingivitis, the precursor of periodontal disease. As with bleeding, if this has been a persistent problem for some time, periodontal disease may have taken hold.
Persistent Bad Breath
Much like our first two symptoms, everyone has bad breath from time to time, especially when they forget to brush and floss. However, persistent bad breath that cannot be remedied by brushing, flossing or even the most powerful mouthwash, is often a clear gum disease warning sign. Such persistent halitosis, as bad breath is clinically called, is often caused by gum disease-related bacteriological breakdown of proteins, which persistently releases volatile sulfur compounds. “Volatile” in part, we’d say, due to causing so many bad smells—from skunk spray to rotten eggs to halitosis.
The expression “long in tooth” comes from examining the length of a horse’s teeth to estimate age. But if your teeth are looking longer, it’s probably due to receding gums, a clear sign that periodontal disease has set in. Such receding gums can also include the formation of spaces between the gums and teeth known as pockets. These pockets tend to collect food debris and become breeding grounds for even more bacteria buildup and related plaque. All of this leads to the further breakdown of gum tissue and the bones holding the teeth in place. Thus, if you’re looking noticeably long in tooth, be sure to see your dentist to avoid losing any teeth!
Based on the previous symptom, you likely realize that if your teeth are feeling loose and wiggle in place, periodontal disease may have set in—and it may have progressed quite far. But whatever you do, don’t let that thought stop you from seeing a dentist. Your dentist should be able to stop the further progression of the disease and may be able to help you retain those teeth and get you back on the path to good oral health.
If You Have Gum Disease Symptoms Contact Island Tower Dentistry
If you suspect that you may have gingivitis or periodontal disease, the dental-care experts at Island Tower Dentistry can help stop its progression and preserve your smile. With among the most advanced gum disease diagnostic and treatment tools in the southwest Florida region, contact us today at 239-394-1004 to make an appointment!