By Shelly Fesler, RDH, BSDH
Gum disease symptoms are not easy to identify. Although it is estimated that 80% of adults have some form of gum disease...a much lower percentage actually know they have it.
Periodontal (gum) disease is often painless but because this condition puts you at risk for these chronic diseases, it is important to reverse the symptoms.
How to identify these symptoms
The first and most common sign of early gum disease (gingivitis) is bleeding gums.
Do your gums bleed when you floss or brush?
Chewing hard or crusty foods might also cause your gums to bleed if you have gum disease.
To learn how to cure bleeding gums click here.
Seems like you would notice swollen gums...right?
Surprisingly, not always.
Some have swollen gums around their molars and never know. since the swelling occurs gradually it can easily go unnoticed.
Swollen gums occur most often on the tongue side of the lower molars. Without a dental mirror those areas are impossible to see.
Periodontal (gum) disease can be localized...only in a spot or two. The gums in the front of the mouth can look pretty good. Molars...not so good.
Sore or painful gums can be a gum disease symptom but is not the most reliable one. Surprisingly, gum pain does not always accompany gingivitis, it is usually painless.
Remember....most don't know they have this condition until their dentist or dental hygienist tells them.
If you have bleeding gums don't wait until you have gum pain or tooth pain. Get it checked out. Click here for more about tooth pain.
Here is a picture of a receding gum line:
Receding gums is complicated and usually is caused by a combination of factors.
It can be an indication of more advanced gum disease. It could also be a result of having gum disease in the past.
When gums recede, tooth roots are exposed. Roots don't have enamel to protect them and can be sensitive. Certain treatments will help but it is not easy to reverse receding gums.
Gum disease is not the only cause of a receding gum line.
Clenching and grinding or brushing too hard can also cause receded gums. No matter what the cause, the best strategy is to stop the progression and prevent further damage to teeth and gums.
Loose teeth are common in very advanced periodontal disease. At this point, the treatment becomes more involved and may be less successful.
Loose teeth can also be caused by the way teeth fit together. Teeth that are in a traumatic (uneven) occlusion may stay constantly loose. This condition can be improved by a simple and painless adjustment to make the bite more even.
Teeth that are extremely loose may eventually need to be replaced. Click here for more about dental implants and other ways to replace missing teeth.
Shifting or moving teeth that causes your "bite" to feel different. Gums that are sevely infected or the loss of supporting bone around a tooth can cause teeth to move.
A tooth abscess an also cause a tooth to move out of position. Click here for more about this condition.
There are other reasons for teeth moving out of position. Tooth movement does not always indicate gum disease and is the least reliable symptom.
A constant bad taste or bad breath that never goes away is an indication of gum disease.
Bad breath can be caused by a variety of factors. Click here for more about chronic bad breath.
Next ~ Gum Disease Treatment Options