Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease can be hard to notice at first. The symptoms can be subtle when you first develop gum disease, and by the time the symptoms become obvious, the condition is severe. Here are some of the symptoms of gum disease, listed roughly from early to advanced gum disease:
- Red gums
- Swollen gums
- Painful gums
- Bleeding gums
- Loose or drifting teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Receding gums (teeth seem to get longer)
- Lost teeth
If you brush and floss your teeth normally, your gums shouldn’t hurt or bleed. Any discomfort or bleeding during your normal hygiene routine is a sign of gum disease, and should be treated. It’s important to remember that your teeth don’t keep growing as you get older. If your teeth seem to start growing, it’s likely that you are experiencing receding gums. Also, if you notice that the newly exposed part of the tooth has a different color or texture, you probably have exposed roots. Even if you can’t see them, the roots may be exposed if you notice sensitivity to heat or cold around the base of the teeth.
A Bridgehead to Your Body
Like all organisms, bacteria are constantly seeking to invade new habitats so they can exploit resources and grow. Your mouth may be the first stop, but it won’t be their last. Bacteria will spread anywhere in your body they can live.
Bacteria want to transform your body to suit their needs, often to the detriment of your health. As bacteria make their homes in your gums, they separate your gums from your teeth, causing receding gums and putting you at risk of losing your teeth. Some oral bacteria have even been shown to suppress your body’s resistance to cancer to make conditions better for themselves.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with gum disease are more than twice as likely to suffer from heart disease. What’s more, gum disease has been linked to strokes, hypertension, and complications with pregnancy, as well as being an indicator of diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
For these reasons alone, treating gum disease as soon as possible is vital.
The Prevention and Treatment of Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is with a thorough dental hygiene and teeth cleaning regimen. This will include twice daily brushing and flossing, and biannual visits to our comfortable office. During these visits, one of our dentists will thoroughly evaluate the health of your gums to detect early signs of gum disease. When spotted early, it may be possible to treat the disease with something as simple as a prescription mouthwash.
When not detected early enough, or when your gum disease progresses, our dentists will take an aggressive approach to preserve both your teeth and your overall health. With the use of laser dentistry, our area dentists can provide periodontal disease treatment including scaling and root planning. This procedure removes calculus from the crown and root structure of your teeth. When done with a laser, tissue growth is stimulated, and healthy tissue will regenerate much faster than with other methods. If your gum disease is in advanced stages, or extraction of a tooth is required, our dentists will refer you to one of our trusted periodontal colleagues.
If you live in or around Westchester County and you have noticed bleeding or inflammation of your gums, please call (914) 526-2144 or email the experienced dentists at Advanced Dentistry of Mohegan Lake to schedule a gum disease evaluation today.