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4 Telltale Signs of Gum Disease

smile health dentist teethGum disease or periodontitis is a chronic condition with severe consequences to dental health – and to overall health. This disease can worsen quickly in certain people, as the bacteria can cause teeth to loosen and fall out.

When bacteria from the gum disease enter the bloodstream, the damage contiues. The bacteria trigger inflammation which damages blood vessels and arteries — and increases risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other chronic medical conditions.

Gum disease is caused by the bacteria that you leave behind when you have finished cleaning your teeth. People susceptible to gum disease have to work hard to remove bacteria from around and between their teeth. It’s all about brushing and flossing.

The following signs indicate gum disease. If you’ve experienced any of these, schedule a a visit to your dentist immediately.

Bleeding Gums

Healthy gums do not bleed when you brush and floss. Bleeding gums are caused by buildup of bacteria below the gums which can worsen quickly.

You might wonder if you should stop brushing and flossing to stop the bleeding.

No! That’s not the answer! You’ve got to brush and floss regularly to prevent this plaque buildup – and keep it from worsening to the point of tooth loss.

Gum Recession

Receeding gums will make your teeth look longer. It’s not a good sign as it indicates progression of gum disease. Over time, the gap in gum tissue around the teeth increases. This makes it difficult to get rid of food debris with brushing and flossing. Without good dental hygiene, the pockets grow deeper and make gum disease worse.

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity develops as a result of gum recession or pocketing. These problems will lead to the exposure of the root to the elements such as hot and cold food items. The exposed root increases risk of tooth decay and may lead to tooth loss.

High Blood Sugar

If you have high blood sugar, you likely have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is closely linked to gum disease. Let your dentist know if you suffer from diabetes. Symptoms of high blood sugar include incessant thirst, headaches, frequent urination and unexplained weight loss. If you have these symptoms, see a doctor to get tested for diabetes. Tell your dentist about these symptoms as well.

Spotting gum disease early will help you to keep your natural teeth. It will also prevent the many serious complications that develop from gum disease. It’s very important to take action. Talk to your dentist. Schedule an appointment today if you have any of the above risk factors.

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Dr Ashley Davenport BDS MFGDP(UK)

I qualified as a dentist in 1995 and can honestly say that I have been doing a job that I love for the past 20 plus years. Most people who know me well know that dentistry is a passion for me and that if I won the lottery I would still want to have some dentistry in my life. I get huge satisfaction from treating patients and making a difference to ...

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Last updated: February 28th, 2024

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