Gum disease is one of the most common diseases in the world, affecting possibly over half of the population in some measure of severity. Despite being so common, many people are still in the dark about what really is involved with gum disease, what causes it, and what to do to treat it.
What is Gum Disease?
Essentially, gum disease is when there is a buildup of harmful plaque in your mouth to the point that it builds up under the gum line. Plaque contains harmful bacteria that cause infections, and ultimately gum disease. Gum disease can leave you with a sore mouth.
Checking for the Symptoms of Gum Disease
When you brush your teeth, you should take a minute to examine your mouth. The gums should be firm and pink and should not bleed when you touch them, brush, or floss your teeth. Mild gum disease may not always leave you with pain, so it is important to check your gums regularly.
A good way to check, especially if you do not floss regularly, is to floss your teeth and see if there is any bleeding. Bleeding can indicate gum disease and a buildup of plaque.
Types of Gum Disease
Early and mild symptoms of gum disease, known as gingivitis, can include red or swollen gums, bleeding, and mild pain. If this is left untreated, gingivitis could develop into periodontitis, which causes more pain, bad breath, and can even cause abscesses that result in the loss of teeth.
If you experience any symptoms such as bleeding gums, swollen gums, pain or inflammation, receding gum line, painful ulcers, chronic bad breath, difficulty swallowing, or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, then you should call your dentist right away for a checkup.
Your dentist can usually help you solve your gum disease problem with a thorough cleaning and proper oral care education. Don’t let your gum disease develop to the point that it is dangerous to your health!