Dental Blog

3 Early Signs Of Gum Disease

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What is gum disease?

Gum disease sounds like a scary thing, but what is it? Gum disease also called gingivitis or periodontitis is caused when bacteria grow in the mouth. A common, mild form is gingivitis, which, if untreated, can lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis is more severe and can cause tooth loss and may increase risk of other health problems.

How do I know if I have it?

Gingivitis does not always lead to periodontitis. The good news is that warning signs are usually easy to detect, and if you catch them early it can be treated.

Warning signs to look for:

  • Bleeding gums: If your gums are bleeding during brushing or flossing, it may be a telltale sign of gum disease. Bleeding is caused by inflammation due to the accumulation of plaque at the gum line. Keep in mind: it is possible to have gum disease without having bleeding gums.
  • Redness/swelling/puffiness: Normal gums are coral pink in color and firm to the touch. Gums with gum disease can be red and have a swollen or puffy appearance. They may also be very tender.
  • Receding gum line: If your teeth seem longer than usual, it may be because your gums are receding due to gum disease. It is very important to treat receding gums, even if gum disease is not the culprit. When gums pull away from teeth, pockets form between them, providing a place for bacteria to grow.

Knowing the warning signs can help you be vigilant and protect yourself from gum disease.