Mississauga dentist explains the signs and symptoms of gum disease
Gum disease is a common condition that affects millions of adults. At Huron Dental Centre in Mississauga, ON, we believe it’s important for individuals to know the signs and symptoms of the disease in order to catch it early when treatment is easier. Our team has years of experience diagnosing and effectively treating gum disease so our patients can enjoy a healthy smile. In the following article, we’ll explain the signs and symptoms of gum disease along with how we can prevent it.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
One of the biggest concerns with gum disease is that many patients don’t notice symptoms until the disease has advanced. Still, understanding what to look out for can make a big difference in catching gum disease early. Here are some of the most common symptoms.
Bleeding gums – This is one of the easiest telltale symptoms of gum disease. If you notice bleeding when you brush your teeth, it means that there is gum inflammation. As plaque accumulates on the teeth and along the gumline, the body recognizes the invasion of bacteria which triggers a response to infection. Over time, this inflammatory response to fight the infection causes the gum tissue to breakdown and pull away from the teeth. If the inflammation is superficial, it means the gum disease is still in its earliest stage. If the inflammation reaches deep into periodontal pockets, it means that the condition has turned into periodontitis.
Chronic bad breath – Medically referred to as Halitosis, chronic bad breath is often a result of a buildup of bacteria in the mouth, caused as a result of poor oral hygiene.
Gum recession – While there are instances of gum recession that are not due to gum disease, if you notice the gums pulling away from the teeth, or teeth appearing longer, this could be a sign of gum disease.
Loose or shifting teeth – As gum disease advances, it destroys the bone and tissue that support the teeth and keep them in place. This can result in loose teeth.
Swollen, Red Gums – You can often tell if a person has gum disease by the colour of his or her gums. Healthy gum tissue should appear pink and firm whereas diseased gum tissue will look red and inflamed.
Risk Factors for Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene. As a result of improperly cleaning the teeth and gums, plaque builds up on the teeth and along the gumline, leading to inflammation and infection. Still, there are certain factors that can increase the risk of developing gum disease. They include:
Age – As you get older, your risk of developing gum disease increases.
Genetics – If you have a family history of gum disease, you may be at a higher risk of developing it. If you do have a genetic risk factor, it’s important to stay diligent about good oral hygiene.
Tobacco Use – There are many negative health consequences of smoking cigarettes and the use of other tobacco products, including an increased risk of gum disease.
Tooth Grinding – Persistent tooth grinding puts extra pressure on the gums, which can exacerbate how quickly gum disease progresses to an advanced state.
Stress – Stress takes many health tolls on the body. When you carry a lot of stress, your body has a more difficult time fighting infections which can make you more susceptible to gum disease.
Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease is largely preventable with good oral hygiene. Make sure you are following these guidelines.
- Brush your teeth at least twice per day, preferably after every meal in order to remove food debris and plaque buildup.
- Floss at least once every day to remove food particles trapped between teeth and around the gumline.
- Consider using an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing to eliminate any lingering bacteria.
- Maintain twice yearly visits to the dentist for check-ups and professional cleanings. Individuals who have already developed gum disease may need to visit the dentist more frequently.
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Comprehensive dental care to improve oral health in Mississauga
At Huron Dental Centre, we are concerned about your overall oral health, which is why we offer comprehensive services to help you achieve and maintain healthy teeth and gums. If you’ve noticed some sign and symptoms of gum disease or simply need to schedule a routine check-up, we invite you to call 855 393-0900 to book an appointment.
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