More than half of all Americans over the age of 30 have periodontitis, a form of gum disease. That’s about 65 million Americans, which means many people aren’t taking their oral health seriously enough.
At Portrait Dental in Katy, Texas, we’re constantly on the lookout for early signs of gum disease (known as gingivitis) so we can catch the problem before it turns into periodontitis.
Here are some of the early warning signs of gum disease we look for.
Red or swollen gums
If your gums are red, puffy, tender, or inflamed, it could be caused by bacteria that accumulated in your mouth. This is the beginning stage of gum disease and, if left untreated, it could progress quickly.
If you notice blood along your gumline or in the sink after you spit out your toothpaste, that’s one of the biggest signs of early gum disease. If your gum tissue is healthy, it shouldn’t bleed after brushing, flossing, or eating.
The bleeding occurs when your gum tissue becomes inflamed and your toothbrush causes small cracks to form in the tissue, which allows it to bleed. Even if it doesn’t cause you any pain, the bleeding is still an indication that something is wrong.
If you start feeling a painful sensation in your teeth when you eat or drink something hot or cold, that sensitivity is a sign of early gum disease as well.
The roots of your teeth contain nerves that cause discomfort when exposed to hot or cold stimuli. Gum disease can cause your gums to begin receding away from the base of your teeth. This can expose the roots and nerves to hot and cold stimuli, which brings on the pain.
We all have bad breath occasionally because of what we eat. But if you consistently have bad breath that isn’t solved by regular brushing and flossing that gets rid of decomposing food particles, gum disease may be the culprit.
Your bad breath could also be caused by bad-smelling bacteria that accumulate in the mouth and contribute to gum disease.
The good news is that all of these are still early warning signs of gum disease and they are reversible. To keep the disease from progressing further and causing even more damage, commit to good oral hygiene that includes brushing and flossing every day and visit your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning.
If you’re worried about gum disease, our expert team at Portrait Dental is happy to conduct an exam and give you our recommendations. Call or use our convenient online scheduler to make an appointment today.