Are you showing signs of gum disease?
A better question might be, do you even know how to spot gum disease?
The two most common types of periodontal disease are gingivitis (inflammation) and periodontitis (actual gum disease). The inflammation usually shows up first, but there are exceptions, depending on a number of factors:
- Family dental history
- Personal care habits
- Other health issues
- And more
Dr. Dental’s network of dentists, hygienists, and other oral healthcare professionals have treated hundreds of cases of gum disease throughout the years, from the beginning stages to more serious, advanced gum disease.
What are the signs and symptoms you should look for when it comes to gum disease? Let’s review a handful of typical warning flags – not all are obvious, and many people mistake gum disease symptoms with other mouth maladies.
Common Signs of Gum Disease
Here are a handful of common signs that may indicate you have gum disease:
- Red, swollen gums. This one is the most obvious. Red, tender, or swollen gums are a key indicator of gingivitis, which is a “gateway” condition to periodontitis. If your gums are constantly red or swollen, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
- Bad breath. Because gum disease (both early and late stage) impacts the mouth’s bacteria levels, bad breath is a common side effect. Even if you frequently use an antiseptic mouthwash, a bad case of gum disease will still cause bad breath.
- Loose teeth. More indicative of periodontitis than gingivitis, loose teeth are a very serious symptom of gum disease. At this stage, it’s very important to visit a dental professional ASAP.
- Receding gums. “When the gums go away, problems are here to stay.” Ok, that’s not exactly Robert Frost-level prose, but it’s still a helpful reminder that receding gums are a common (perhaps the most common) sign of gum disease. Fading gums can include white patches, exposed teeth, bleeding when brushing, and more.
- Different bite patterns. If your teeth aren’t “fitting” the right way when you bite down, gum disease could be the culprit. There are many causes behind a misaligned bite (trauma, wisdom teeth, etc.), so if you’re not sure what’s causing the problem, you should see your dentist.
Those are five of the most common signs and symptoms behind gum disease. Others include pockets between the teeth and gums, dry mouth, and other “uncommon” issues. We always recommend checking with your dentist if you’re unsure.