Gum disease, or periodontitis, is an infection that can have severe repercussions for your dental health if left untreated. Over time, gum disease impacts the jawbone, leading to loss of bone mass, loose teeth, or even tooth loss. Gum disease is usually caused by plaque buildup and overall poor oral hygiene. Proper care of your dental health in combination with a strong at-home routine and frequent dental visits can help to prevent this condition.
Still, it’s important to know the early signs of gum disease, and take care of this condition as soon as you first notice them. Here are 5 signs you might be dealing with periodontitis:
One of the first signs of gum disease is swelling right above your teeth. Sometimes, gums can become redder because of the inflammation, a big difference from the usual pink hues they have.
The next stage from swollen gums is often tenderness or slight discomfort in this area. You might feel slight pain or sensitivity if you touch your gums, or while you’re brushing.
A common way a lot of people might realize they have gum disease is when seeing the toothbrush turn a bit pink. If you start bleeding because of brushing or flossing, and you have no injury that you’re aware of, it is very likely the bleeding comes from the early stages of gum disease.
You can also start experiencing some pain or discomfort when chewing especially in the case of harder foods that need a bit more pressure. The pain can be localized in the jaw or gum area, though some people can mistake it for a regular toothache.
Lastly, gum disease often affects your breath. The unpleasant smell is persistent and doesn’t go away even after you brush your teeth, tongue, and cheeks, or use mouthwash.
What Should You Do?
If you notice any of these signs, it’s really important to book a dentist appointment as soon as possible. The sooner you do this, the higher the chances that the effects of gum disease can be reversed.
Periodontal treatment options usually include professional dental cleaning to remove all the tartar from your teeth, but more severe cases can need surgical procedures like gum flap surgery. Additionally, the dentist will also inspect your jaw to determine if you need additional procedures like bone grafting to restore any lost bone mass.
Don’t let gum disease ruin your smile. Oak Creek Dental Care is here to provide you with access to the best dental services in the Oak Creek, South Milwaukee, and Franklin areas.