Periodontal Disease is a serious condition with huge potential to turn your smile upside down. However, it is almost always preventable if you are diligent in your oral hygiene and keep an eye out for early signs of trouble. Today we’re going to be talking through some of these signs of trouble, but before we do, let’s take a moment to explain what Periodontal Disease is…
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth, which is caused by bacteria in dental plaque. (Dental plaque is the sticky substance that forms on your teeth a couple of hours after you have brushed.) Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. What seems like a harmless case of mild gingivitis can quickly evolve into something far more serious. At this point, you might be wondering what the real danger here is. What’s the worst case scenario?
Here are a few pictures of people who weren’t lucky enough to read an article like this one before it was too late…
Do we have your attention now?
The critical factor in the severity of this disease is time. If nothing is done, the infection can spread and destroy the structures that support your teeth in your jawbone, leaving your dentist with very few options except for extractions. Hello dentures!
But the dangers of periodontal disease are not just contained in your mouth. In fact, periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and even stroke. AND, in pregnant women, it has actually been linked to premature birth and low birth weights. Our bodies are much more interconnected than they seem.
Warning Signs Of Periodontal Disease
1. Gums Bleeding While Flossing
Experiencing some form of bleeding while flossing is a fairly common experience. Be diligent and gentle with your flossing and brushing, and you should be able to combat this symptom at home without much help. However, if the degree to which your gums are bleeding have you worried, then consult a dentist. We addressed this in 10 Fantastic Flossing Tips that will guide you in best practices for flossing.
2. Gums That Are Swollen / Irritable
Your gums should be lean and mean. If your gums look puffy and are easily irritated, this is a signal that you need to be doing more to take care of your gum tissue. Our mouths are swarming with bacteria, and you need to play an active role in keeping that bacteria at bay by brushing, flossing, and getting regular check-ups from your dentist.
3. Gums That Are Receding / Separating From Teeth
If you are noticing that your gums are beginning to roll back, exposing the roots of your teeth, this is a serious problem and one that is not easily reversed. In some cases, the culprit can be overly aggressive brushing practices, but in many others, this is a sign of a rapidly developing periodontal condition. See your dentist.
4. Tooth Sensitivity
Are your teeth over-sensitive when you drink something that is particularly hot or cold? Or perhaps you are at the point where almost any variance in temperature is bothersome. This is a bad sign. If the sensitivity of your teeth is starting to impact your quality of life or affect your eating habits, it’s time to see your dentist. In our post, Are Your Teeth Sensitive To Cold, we give you information on what can cause tooth sensitivity.
5. Teeth That Are Loose
As a child, loose teeth are exciting! But this is not something you ever want to experience in your adult life. That should go without saying. Experiencing some looseness in your teeth can be a sign of more advanced stages of periodontal disease. It’s a big deal and should be dealt with by a trained medical professional.
6. Bad Breath That Just Won’t Quit
If your breath just seems to be irreversibly repugnant, even with the use of toothpaste, brushing, or mouthwash, something more complex than your average, every-day grossness might be going on. Don’t worry—there is a cure! This kind of bad breath can sometimes be a red flag for some form of periodontal disease.
Does This Sound Like You?
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t panic. Many people in the U.S. suffer from some form of Periodontal Disease. In its early stages, this condition can be treated with just a little help from your dentist. If only we knew a dentist we could recommend you…
Just kidding. We are a dental office, and we would love to have you in for an appointment.