Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common but potentially serious condition. It starts with bacteria in plaque—an invisible, sticky layer that constantly forms on our teeth. When this plaque is not properly removed, it can lead to gum disease. Recognizing the early signs can help you take action before it progresses to a more severe stage. Here are the top five warning signs you shouldn’t overlook.
Bleeding Gums: One of the most common signs of gum disease is bleeding gums, especially when brushing or flossing. While occasional bleeding might not be alarming, consistent bleeding is a clear red flag. It indicates that there’s inflammation, usually a sign of gingivitis—the earliest stage of gum disease.
Red, Swollen, or Tender Gums: Healthy gums are firm and pale pink. If your gums are red, swollen, or tender to the touch, it’s a signal that something isn’t right. Swollen gums are often a reaction to the toxins produced by bacteria in the plaque, leading to inflammation.
Receding Gums: If you notice that your teeth look longer than they used to, or if you feel a notch near the gum line, your gums may be receding. Gum recession can be a sign of progressing gum disease, as the support structure of the teeth deteriorates.
Bad Breath or Bad Taste: Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth can be another indication. While everyone has bad breath now and then, chronic bad breath may be a sign that you have bacteria accumulating under the gumline, causing gum disease.
Loose or Shifting Teeth: As gum disease progresses, the structures that support your teeth, including the bone, begin to break down. This can lead to teeth becoming loose or shifting position. If you notice any change in your bite or in the way your teeth fit together, it’s crucial to see a dentist.
Conclusion: If you notice any of these signs, don’t wait. Early intervention can prevent gum disease from progressing to a more severe stage. Regular dental check-ups, brushing twice daily, and flossing daily are crucial steps in preventing and detecting gum disease early on. Remember, your oral health is a window to your overall health. Take care of your gums, and they’ll take care of you.
If you’re concerned about gum disease, would like to book a consultation or would like more information about gum disease, please call us on 020 3925 1676 to speak to our friendly team, or fill out our contact form.