Dental Care

Gum Disease Symptoms and Solutions


How to recognize gum disease symptoms?

Even if you have always performed a daily regimen of oral hygiene, including flossing, brushing and rinsing with a powerful mouthwash, you might still develop gum disease.

This is because it is nearly impossible to reach every part of the mouth where microbes and bacteria might gather and thrive between teeth and gums. This is one of the main reasons that at least one professional cleaning is recommended each year.

A cleaning done by a dental hygienist will tend to remove the kind of plaque and tartar that can lead to moderate and advanced cases of gingivitis or gum disease.

There are warning signs, however, that can indicate if all of your efforts aren't working.

Early Signs

How do you know if you have started to develop gum disease?

The symptoms are easily recognized and unusual enough to not go unnoticed. For example, the most common signs include:

  • Tender and bleeding gums whenever the teeth are being brushed or flossed;
  • Swollen gums that may be shiny in their appearance;
  • Gum discoloration to a reddish or purple shade; and
  • Chronic mouth sores.

Do You Have To Take It Serious?

So, you might be thinking, a little blood and swelling as a one of the gum disease symptoms, what's the big deal?

Yes, the small amounts of blood issued during brushing might make it appear that gum disease is not such a problem, but the fact of the matter is that it is a serious condition that can lead to an enormous list of health issues.

For example, the bacteria involved in the development of gum disease are known to be connected to such issues as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and more. If left untreated, gum disease can degenerate into a systemic infection in the jaw or blood as well.

Clearly, this all points to the fact that everyone should be doing whatever possible to reduce their risks for gum disease. So, if you see that tell-tale blood during your morning flossing, you should contact your dentist.

The first thing that they will do is schedule you for an appointment with their hygienist. This is the person who should be viewed as your first line of defense when you experience gum disease symptoms. They will examine all of your teeth and your gums, and will then determine the extent of the trouble.

Let's quickly take a look at how the various stages of gum disease symptoms develop in order to understand how it might be "mild" to "severe" and then we'll consider how the hygienist will address the issue.

Development

For instance, all forms of gum disease begin with one of the most familiar materials known to all people, and that is the plaque that develops on their teeth throughout any given day.

Plaque comes from the foods we eat and from the bacteria and microbes that linger in the mouth afterward. Consider that people might say that their teeth feel like they are coated with "tiny little sweaters" each morning. This is the plaque that has appeared during the night.

Brushing and flossing the teeth will normally get rid of most of the plaque and bacteria, but it might not conquer all of it.

Over time, these trace amounts of plaque travel upwards to the gum line where they might be able to squeeze between the surface of the tooth and the actual gum. This means that the plaque has reached the perfect place to develop into something known as tartar.

This is a much tougher and harder form of plaque, and it is capable of trapping food debris and additional bacteria behind it.

This is where the real trouble begins because the trapped materials begin to irritate the flesh of the gums, and this usually leads to the bleeding and tenderness that are some of the first gum disease symptoms.

If left unchecked, this issue worsens and turns into a chronic low-grade infection of the gum tissue. This spreads throughout the entire gum area and puts all of the teeth at risk.

Should the gum disease still be ignored or left untreated, it can allow the gums to begin to pull away from the teeth and to create large pockets that will also become infected (known as abscesses). This also can cause the gums, bones, and all of the connective tissue in the mouth to be affected as well.

Ultimately, the final stages of gum disease symptoms tend to include the loss or death of permanent teeth and the further degradation of the jaw and connective tissues as well.

Clearly, this illustrates that gum disease is not just a bit of bleeding and occasional discomfort, but is actually a major issue that can leave the body weakened thanks to the persistent infection it is combating.

It can also cause someone to lose one or more teeth.

Treatment

Luckily, even advanced to severe gum disease symptoms can be treated. The dental hygienist will usually recommend an array of different cleansing treatment, with the most extreme being the processes known as scaling and root planning.

These are a bit painful, but most people are given topical or injected numbing agents if it gets too uncomfortable. The treatments can often scrape away all of the infection and accumulated toxins far beneath the gum line.

After all deep cleanings (and even after many standard treatments of this kind) patients are given prescription antimicrobial mouth rinses that can greatly reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth. This is a sort of "one-two punch" to the progress of the gum disease because it is eliminating the likelihood of the infection to continue to exist within the mouth.

Patients should also combat the development of gum disease by instituting a regular routine for oral hygiene.

This means that daily brushing and flossing are important, and if someone seems to have constant issues with bacteria, they should also ask for a prescription strength rinse from their dentist.

It is also important to remember the function of water in the body. Bad breath develops overnight because the individual becomes slightly dehydrated over the hours during which they sleep.

This dehydration allows bacteria to thrive, and this means that drinking enough water is also important in the fight against gingivitis.

 

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