You might not be a dentist yourself — but you have eyes. Look for these 5 obvious warning signs of gum disease. Think you suffer from any of the following? Call our dental office in Cleveland. We’ll make a complete diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan to get you back to health.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a chronic condition of the gums that gets worse over time, especially without treatment. It’s also known as periodontal disease. Extreme cases may result in tooth loss. The good news is the earlier you seek treatment, the better your prognosis. That’s why spotting it early and beginning treatment as soon as possible is so important.
1. Receding Gums
If your teeth are showing more white along the gumline, this is a sign your gums are shrinking or receding. The bones in your jawline are starting to break down. This separates the gums from the tooth, creating a pocket. The exposed tooth could be at greater risk for cavities and other decay.
2. Tooth Pain
As your gums recede, this can expose the root surface of the teeth, which can cause tooth sensitivity. You may notice pain or an intense feeling while drinking hot or cold beverages, or while eating cold foods like ice-cream. If you feel dental pain, it’s time to give our Cleveland dental office a call. We need to see you!
3. Bad Breath
We all get it from time to time. If we’re lucky, someone tells us so we can pop a breath mint! But stinky breath on a regular basis can be a sign of gingivitis. After you’ve brushed, your breath should smell fine. If it doesn’t, have a dentist look at your gums. You may have gum disease!
4. Bleeding Gums
Your gums shouldn’t bleed very often when you brush or floss. If it’s been a while since you’ve flossed, they may bleed some in the beginning. This should go away with regular flossing and brushing. Gums that continue to bleed are likely infected. They may also swell — or you have red or sore gums. These are all signs you suffer from gum disease.
If your gums do bleed regularly, be patient and press on. Don’t give up. Regular flossing and brushing remove the plaque that attaches to your gums and causes gum disease. Bleeding gums are a sign you should brush and floss more regularly — not stop.
5. Shifting Teeth
If your teeth shift, move or wiggle, this can be a sign of serious gum disease. Call us right away. The gum disease has worn away the bone that holds the tooth so there’s little holding it in place. This can result in tooth loss.
Approaches to Treatment
While gum disease isn’t curable, it is very treatable. The first step is to come into our Cleveland office for an appointment. We can give you a complete diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan.
We’ll start with a deep cleaning. We’ll go deeper into the gumline than a regular cleaning. We’ll scrape tartar off your teeth both above and below the gumline. Root planing may be necessary to smooth out any rough surfaces so it can reattach to the tooth.
We may also prescribe you special antibiotic gels, toothpastes, or mouthwashes. For more advanced cases of gum disease, we may recommend gum graft surgery that can restore tissue to your gumline.
Don’t give up — a healthy mouth is attainable with the help of our Cleveland dental practice.