Protect Your Teeth: 9 Signs of Gum Disease (and What to Do About It)

A 2010 study shows that approximately 50% of American adults suffer from some form of gum disease. Unfortunately, due to the nuanced symptoms of gum diseases, a good many of this 50% don’t even realize that they’re suffering. 

Curious as to whether you suffer from gum disease? You’re reading the right article. We’re going to cover 9 signs of gum disease below. 

The Most Common Signs of Gum Disease

There are actually many signs of gum disease, most of which we write off as inconsequential. Some of the primary signs to look out for include the following. 

1. Red Gums

A sign of early gum disease is reddened gums. Gums become red due to inflammation, most typically as a result of bacterial buildup. In their prime state, gums should possess a dark pink color. 

Fortunately, if this is your only symptom, it can be reversed. Regular brushing and flossing should get the job done. 

2. Swollen Gums 

Another sign that you’re suffering from gum disease is if your gums are swollen. Swelling often goes hand-in-hand with reddening, as they’re both indications that inflammation is present. 

Like reddening, swelling typically isn’t a huge cause for concern. As long as you brush and floss your teeth on a consistent basis, your swelling should subside. This is because the cause of the swelling (bacteria) will be eliminated.  

3. Bleeding Gums 

Do you notice blood pouring out of your gums whenever you brush or floss? If so, your gum disease is worsening. 

The existence of blood on the gums is indicative of fairly substantial inflammation. It’s an intermediate symptom which toes the line between mild and severe gum disease. 

Fortunately, at this point, you might still be able to save your gums through good oral hygiene. Note, however, that this isn’t always the case. If your gums are bleeding on a regular basis despite good oral hygiene practices, more extreme measures are likely needed. 

4. Receding Gums 

When gum disease truly becomes troubling is when it causes the gums to start receding or pulling back. If you notice more of your teeth exposed than what was once exposed, gum disease is likely having dire effects on your oral health. If you’re not careful, the gumline could recede to the root of the tooth, requiring extensive and painful gum grafts. 

It’s important to note, however, that receding gums aren’t always caused by gum disease. Hormonal changes, genetics, and hard brushing are all common causes of gum recession as well. 

5. Halitosis 

Has the smell of your breath gotten worse as of late? If so, you could be suffering from gum disease.

See, halitosis (bad breath) and gum disease are caused by the same thing: an excess of bacteria in the mouth. So, if you’re suffering from halitosis, it stands to reasons that you might also be suffering from gum disease. 

Note, however, that these two conditions are not always linked. It is possible to suffer from one without suffering from the other. 

6. Loose Teeth 

A sign of severe gum disease is loose teeth. If you feel as though you can jostle your teeth back and forth with a push of your tongue, your gums have experienced massive decay. 

Unfortunately, this symptom indicates deterioration of the jawbone. Intensive surgery and tooth extraction will likely be needed. 

7. Pus from Your Gums

Under no circumstances should pus be leaking from your gums. If it is, you are undoubtedly suffering from gum disease. In all likelihood, it is of the severe variety. 

There’s even a chance that your gums are infected, as an abscess might have formed. In any case, if you notice pus, you need to see your dentist as soon as possible.

8. Realignment of Teeth

Another sign that you might be suffering from gum disease is that your teeth have changed alignment. While gum disease isn’t always the cause of tooth realignment, it often is. This is because severe gum disease causes the jawbone to deteriorate, loosening up the teeth and causing them to shift direction. 

If you’ve encountered this symptom, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. Whether your gums are the culprit or not, a major procedure is probably needed. 

9. Recurring Mouth Sores

Do you always seem to be getting sores on the inside of your mouth? While it’s not necessarily the culprit, gum disease could be at the root of the problem. See, the same bacteria which cause gum disease also tend to cause mouth sores. 

If you encounter the problem of recurring mouth sores, you’re advised to see your dentist. He or she will get to the bottom of the problem and help you with treatment. 

Treatment for Gum Disease 

The treatment for gum disease depends upon the severity of the disease. While some individuals will be able to counteract the effects of gum disease through good oral hygiene, other individuals will require more extreme measures.

The baseline treatment for gum disease is a return to regular brushing and flossing. By brushing and flossing at least twice a day, you will prevent the buildup of bacteria, and will ultimately reverse the effects of minor gum disease. 

If you’re suffering from severe gum disease, extensive dental procedures will likely need to be performed. Some of these procedures include pocket reduction, gum grafts, and bone grafting. 

In some cases, tooth extraction might even be needed. This occurs when the gum disease eats away at the jawbone, providing no anchor for the tooth to remain entrenched in. 

At this point, dental implants will be needed. For more information on dental implants, click here. 

Learn More About Your Oral Health 

The signs of gum disease are fairly nuanced. However, now that you know what they are, you can look out for them and take control of your oral hygiene. 

Looking to learn more about your oral health? Then you’re in the right place. Our blog has all types of information on dental health, covering everything from dental insurance, to dental procedures, and more.

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