Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control says that almost half of Americans over the age of 30 suffer from some type of gum disease (also called periodontal disease)? That prevalence rises to a shocking 70 percent for Americans over the age of 65.
And gum disease is something that you want to catch early on. The consequences of failing to treat it include tooth loss, gum recession, systemic infection, and likely, according to the latest research, heart disease and other serious health problems.
Periodontal disease treatment in its earliest stages is simple and non-invasive, but if you wait too long you may require more aggressive interventions like a deep cleaning under anesthesia and even gum grafts to repair a receded gumline.
The following are some signs and symptoms you may be suffering from gum disease. If any of them seem a little too familiar, get on the phone and call Highland Advanced Dental Care right away at 248-329-3552. We also offer a convenient online online form for the phone-shy.
Sign #1: Red and Swollen Gums
Your gums should be pink, firm, and tight around the base of your teeth. If they are puffy, tender, or red, those are signs of inflammation, caused by a buildup of bacteria and plaque on the teeth and around the gumline.
Sign #2: Gums That Bleed
When you have periodontal disease, your gums may bleed easily. If you’ve been noticing blood — this commonly occurs when you brush or floss — it’s time to call us for an appointment.
Sign #3: Persistent Bad Breath
If you have a case of bad breath (or halitosis) that just won’t go away, that could be a sign you have periodontal disease, and a buildup of bacteria and decay in your mouth.
Sign #4: Gums That Pull Away from the Teeth
Over time, the inflammation of gum disease will actually cause your gums to recede, or pull away from the teeth. You may notice pockets forming between the teeth and gums, and your teeth may appear to be longer — they are not, but they seem longer because the roots are becoming exposed.
Sign #5: Teeth That Are Loose
Your gums are necessary to hold your teeth in place. When the gum tissue recedes, it will eventually lead to tooth loss.
Sign #6: Pus in the Mouth
Pus is a clear sign that there is an infection in your mouth. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums.
Sign #7: A Change in Your Bite
Your bite is how your teeth fit together when you close your mouth. If you’ve been noticing that your upper and lower jaws don’t quite fit like they used to, that can be a sign of periodontal disease.
Sign #8: No Sign at All
The very earliest stage of gum disease (gingivitis) may not cause any symptoms at all — at least symptoms that are noticeable by you. That’s one reason why it’s so important to visit our office twice a year for a checkup. We will examine your gums carefully and identify early signs of periodontal disease.