Bellingham Dentist

Unhealthy Gums? When To Be Alarmed

Gum Disease: Signs and Symptoms To Watch Out For

Most people don’t know if they have gum disease and that’s because most are not aware of the signs and symptoms of gum disease. Most gum disease starts with mild symptoms, but it can progress over time.

The mildest form of gum disease is gingivitis. Red, swollen gums that bleed easily, as well as chronic bad breath are usually found in persons with gingivitis. They do not experience any pain or tooth loosening. With good oral hygiene and dental care most will recover from the condition.

If gingivitis goes untreated, over time it can progress to periodontitis. Plaque and tartar can spread below the gum line. Present in plaque are bacteria that irritate the gums and trigger an inflammatory response. The reaction may eventually lead to tissue and bone destruction, characterized by gum tissue slowly receding from tooth structure and bones becoming brittle and prone to fracture. Eventually teeth will lose their support. As the damage worsens, deep pockets of space between the teeth and the connective tissues are observed.

If you have periodontitis, the condition is sometimes asymptomatic, or does not present symptoms initially. However, you may notice the following: teeth appearing longer (gum recession), loose teeth, presence of pus between the teeth or at the gum line, halitosis (chronic bad breath), bleeding gums or red, swollen gums.

There are risk factors that can increase the likelihood of you getting gum disease. Aging is one of them, but which you cannot control. Other than that, here are some of the most common risk factors for developing gum disease: obesity and poor nutrition, smoking and tobacco use, teeth grinding or bruxism, stress and genetics. Certain drugs, like antidepressants, oral contraceptives, and some heart medications. Presence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis are also contributory factors.

If you experience some of these signs, do see your dentist right away: gums that pull back from the teeth, that bleed easily and are swollen or red, teeth that are sensitive teeth or feel loose in their sockets, pain while chewing, and ill-fitting dentures.


Fighting Gum Disease in Bellingham

We know all the signs and symptoms of gum disease and though we see them regularly, we give each patient personalized treatment. Find out if you are at risk. See us at Tetrick Family Dentistry, here in Bellingham.