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Most People Miss These Signs of Gum Disease

Most People Miss These Signs of Gum Disease

Gum disease can put you on the road to loads of uncomfortable and costly dental appointments, but do you know what to look for if you’re at risk for it? You need to tune in to more than the occasional feeling of gum tenderness or pink-tinged spit when you brush your teeth. 

Here, we discuss the subtle signs of gum disease which, if you allow it to progress to a serious stage, can be a really costly and painful problem to solve.

Dr. Alistair Saeghi and his caring team at Modern Age Dentistry, with offices in Los Angeles, West Hills, and Ojai, California, are experts at preventing, diagnosing, and treating gum disease, no matter what level of severity a patient’s experiencing. 

Different levels of gum disease

It’s important to know that early gum disease, or gingivitis, is characterized by swelling, redness, and irritation of the area of the gum that is right around the base of your teeth, or the gingiva (how it gets its name). 

When gum disease progresses to a more serious stage, it’s called periodontitis. The symptoms you experience then are different and more alarming than when you have mild gum disease. With this condition, you can suffer soft tissue damage, and if you don’t get treatment, bone damage can occur. 

Dental professionals want you to know that gum disease is pretty much preventable, by simply practicing good oral hygiene — as in brushing twice daily and flossing daily.

Easy-to-miss signs that point to gum disease

It’s easy to assume that gum disease symptoms are attributable to something else. This is why Dr. Saeghi makes it a point to speak with patients about what to look for with gum disease, and how critical keeping up good oral hygiene habits is. 

Signs of gum disease that might surprise you include:

  1. Gums that bleed: You may think brushing too hard may be the culprit, when it’s really early gum disease.
  2. Red gums: We know you’re busy, but take a good look at your gums. Are they pink and firm or red and puffy? If they’re the latter, make an appointment with us to start addressing these symptoms, which point to gum disease.
  3. Sensitive teeth: You may have seen special toothpastes for tooth sensitivity in stores, and some people naturally have more sensitivity when they eat and drink or brush. But you should be aware that this is also a sign of gum disease. 
  4. Plaque buildup that leads to tartar: This is another plea to never overlook proper brushing and flossing. When you eat and drink, deposits from your food and beverages leave a coating on your teeth, plaque. If it sits on your teeth for too long and isn’t brushed off, it hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by the dentist. In the meantime, your gums become irritated and inflamed. 
  5. Gum recession: If you feel like you’re seeing more of your teeth and that they appear longer, you might be experiencing this problem. While it can be hereditary, it also occurs when oral health habits are lax, and when your gums recede, you’re also at risk for decay, sensitivity, infection, and even tooth loss. 
  6. Bad breath: Everyone can have this problem sometimes, but if you notice it consistently, it can often be traced to a high level of bacteria and gum disease. 

Signs of more serious, advanced gum disease (periodontitis) include bite problems and tooth loss.

If Dr. Saeghi diagnoses you with any stage of gum disease, he provides treatments that can help. He may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics, as well as a deep cleaning procedure that goes under your gumline. 

With scaling, Dr. Saeghi scrapes tartar from above and below your gumline. Root planing involves smoothing out the rough surfaces of your teeth. This step helps reattach your gums to your teeth. 

You can lower your risk for gum disease by being scrupulous about your brushing and flossing, refraining from smoking, and talking to Dr. Saeghi about being more aware of the condition of your gums if you're pregnant. You’re also at higher risk if you live with diabetes, so be sure to share that with Dr. Saeghi so he can monitor you properly.

No one is immune to developing gum disease. In fact, half of the American population is affected by it. Dr. Saeghi’s focus on family dentistry means that he can educate, help prevent, and treat every child and adult in your family, and this includes paying close attention to gum disease.

Call the Modern Age Dentistry office that’s most convenient to you today to schedule an appointment with us, or request one online

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