You’ve every right to be concerned about gum disease since it’s suggested that most people get it at some point in their life. It’s one of the most common dental conditions and potentially, one of the most serious. So, are you at risk of developing it?
Gum disease or periodontal disease as it’s also known has serious consequences for your oral health. It’s a chronic condition that in some people can spread quickly. In the most severe cases, it can result in both tooth and bone loss.
You may know that bleeding gums and poor oral health are usually a result of inadequate brushing and flossing. But removing plaque is just one piece of the jigsaw. Gum disease is also a sign of other problems in the body. If you think you may have periodontal disease, here are some warning signs that indicate that you need to visit your dentist.
4 Signs of Gum Disease
If you don’t floss your teeth regularly then a build-up of bacteria below the gum line is likely to cause bleeding every time you brush and floss. If this isn’t addressed, the problem can worsen.
Any bleeding may also be accompanied by swelling and redness. People often ask whether they should stop flossing and the answer to this is no. If flossing is stopped, the plaque that causes gum disease will eventually break down the fibres attaching your gum tissue to your teeth.
Bleeding can also be one of the more serious signs of gum disease. If bleeding is related to periodontal (latter stage) gum disease, other problems may occur which affect more than your oral health. The harmful bacteria that has collected in the mouth could get into your bloodstream causing blood clots. This in turn could lead to a stroke or heart attack. So if you notice bleeding gums, it’s time to book a dental check-up.
Gum recession or pockets
Gum recession refers to a loss of tissue around the tooth that exposes the tooth root and is a sign that gum disease is worsening. In the latter stages of periodontal disease, the spaces between the teeth form deep pockets which make it difficult to remove food debris and plaque when brushing and flossing alone.
As a result, gum pockets will deepen further and gum disease and oral health can worsen.
Regular visits to your dentist or hygienist enables them to monitor and take measurements for each tooth pocket to determine oral health and/or presence of gum disease.
Gum recession and pockets can lead to tooth sensitivity and in these circumstances, sensitive teeth are another of the signs of gum disease. Gum tissue that is badly inflamed exposes the surface of the tooth root which, in turn, makes it more susceptible to wear, decay, sensitivity, and possible tooth loss.
Tooth sensitivity happens when you consume hot or cold foods or drinks and causes a sharp tingling feeling. If this seems to be happening more frequently, visit your dentist to see if the problem is related to gum disease.
High blood sugar
When a person’s blood sugar is high it may be that they have type 2 diabetes or are at risk of developing it. Unfortunately, people with type 2 diabetes are more at risk of gum disease that progresses faster than in non-diabetics.
Signs of high blood sugar include:
- Increased thirst
- Blurred vision
- Trouble concentrating
- Unexplained weight loss
- Frequent urination
If you have any of these symptoms, then you should visit your doctor who can test your blood sugar levels.
But if you have previously visited your dentist and been diagnosed with gum disease you should also have your blood sugar tested. General inflammation in the body closely connects both conditions.
How to control gum disease?
The first step is to visit your dentist for a check-up and clean to have any stubborn plaque removed. Thorough brushing and flossing are crucial to getting your oral health back on track, eradicating the early signs of gum disease and keeping it at bay. If your gum disease has progressed, fortunately, there are other treatments that dentists can provide.
So now you know the signs of gum disease hopefully, you can keep it under control. Remember, gum disease and your oral health are linked to your overall medical health, so take care.
If you suspect you may have gum disease or are overdue for a dental check-up, why not book an appointment with the friendly dentists at Randwick Smiles. It’s never too late to start caring for your gums. Call us now at (02) 8188 4625.