What is Gum Disease?
Your gums bleed sometimes when you brush your teeth, or maybe you notice that some of your gums are receding, exposing more of certain teeth. What is normal and when is it time to take action?
Well…first of all, your gums should never bleed when brushing or flossing, so if they do, it’s time to take action before the situation worsens. Give a participating dentist a call to schedule an examination.
They will need to assess the condition of your gums before the condition worsens and you develop more serious gum disease that requires more costly and time-intensive treatment.
What Do Healthy Gums Look Like?
Healthy gums are usually red in color. They don’t appear to be “puffy” or swollen. They don’t bleed when you brush or floss. They have a texture to them that resembles an orange peel. The edges are scalloped and follow the lines of your teeth. And…they don’t hurt.
First-Stage Gum Disease
The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Symptoms include bleeding gums and inflamed or swollen gum tissue around the teeth. This occurs when plaque and tartar build up around the teeth, infecting the gums. If diagnosed at this stage, gum disease is easily treatable and reversible. If ignored, the condition evolves into Stage Two gum disease.
Second Stage Gum Disease
Second stage gum disease, known as periodontitis, occurs when plague and tartar surrounding the teeth start to extend below the gum line. Next, your gums start to pull away from your teeth and your teeth start to loosen. Usually infection sets in and you have bad breath. Bones supporting the teeth may become damaged and there is increased tooth sensitivity.
At this point, your teeth may become so loose that they are structurally unsound and unable to function. They may have to be removed.
What Should I Do To Avoid Gum Disease?
Taking an active role in your oral hygiene is important to maintain healthy gums. Brush at least twice and floss at least once daily. Sticking to a regular dental check up schedule helps the dentist to diagnose gum disease at its earliest stages, when it is most treatable in the least expensive way.
How long has it been since your last cleaning and check up? Call today and schedule an appointment, especially if you’ve noticed any bleeding or swelling in your gums lately!