Gum disease, a.k.a. periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection and inflammation of the gums and bone that surround and support the teeth. If left untreated, gum disease can easily lead to tooth loss. Gum disease is often the result of poor dental hygiene, such as inadequate brushing of teeth and/or failure to properly floss.
Although gum disease is more common among adults and the elderly, the disease can also affect children and teens. Fortunately, detecting gum disease early and having the condition treated at a family dental practice in Greenville, SC can help stop the disease from progressing. With that in mind, here are a few warning signs of early-stage gum disease you and your family should look out for:
Swollen and Bleeding Gums
It is often thought that bleeding gums are caused by brushing too hard. In reality, the inflammation caused by bacterial infection makes the gums very sensitive. This sensitivity can become so severe that brushing your teeth may cause your gums to bleed. If you notice blood mixed with your toothpaste foam, you may be suffering from early-stage gum disease.
Persistent Bad Breath
As the bacterial infection erodes your gums and bone, you may notice that you are starting to suffer from persistent bad breath. In some cases, the bacterial infection may be advanced enough that you are always left with a bad taste in your mouth, even if you have not eaten in a while.
Receding Gum Line
When the infection progresses, it may make your gum line recede. If left untreated, the receding gum line may eventually expose the nerve root of your teeth, making your teeth sensitive to warm and cold food or beverages.
If you notice any of those warning signs, set an appointment at a trusted family dentistry office, such as Falls Park Dentistry, as soon as possible. An experienced dentist can clean your teeth and gums, removing bacterial deposits and halting the progression of gum disease.
Once you are free of gum disease, practice proper oral hygiene to prevent the disease from happening again. Make sure that you and the rest of your family observe proper brushing and flossing techniques. Rinsing your teeth with antiseptic mouthwash after brushing your teeth is also recommended.
Periodontal Disease. www.cdc.gov
Periodontal Disease Fact Sheet. www.perio.org