One of the more widespread dental health issues among adults today is gum disease. As a progressive issue that goes through several stages of severity, gum disease can be a bigger threat to some people’s smiles than it is to others. Typically, the difference lies in how successful you are at preventing gum disease, or at seeking treatment if you notice that it’s already developing. Fortunately, even if you do experience gum disease, you may still prevent it from causing extensive damage to your gums if you seek appropriate treatment fast enough.
Warning Signs of Gingivitis, the First Stage of Gum Disease
Many people fail to recognize the symptoms of gingivitis, because they are simply unsure what healthy gums should look and feel like. Learning how your gums should be, can help you spot warning signs of trouble, so you can seek help quickly, when minimally invasive treatment might still be able to help restore your oral health.
In general, healthy gums should be:
Light pink in color – dark red or deep purple gums can be indication of infection, as is blood present, either while brushing or flossing.
Firm, and fitted closely around the teeth – loosening gums are a definite indication of gum disease. Gums that are visibly inflamed or irritated are also unhealthy.
Odorless – chronic bad breath is another common symptom of gingivitis. If no amount of dental hygiene can seem to improve your breath, it is time to talk to your dentist bout the potential need for treatment for gum disease. In some cases a thorough dental cleaning may be able to restore the gums’ health. In other cases, periodontal therapy may be necessary; this is a form of deep cleaning meant to rid the gums of harmful infections.
It takes consistency.
The first stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, is a product of harmful oral bacteria infecting your gums. As they form plaque and tartar, certain bacteria can work their way underneath your gums to settle on your teeth roots. The accumulation of these microbes and the toxins they release are a constant, daily threat. Therefore, preventing gum disease requires constantly good hygiene and preventive dental care to be successful.
It also takes diligence.
In addition to being consistent, preventing gum disease can sometimes require being diligent in keeping an eye on your oral health. If you notice that your gums are red, swollen, angry looking, or starting to recede from your teeth, then you should schedule a visit with your dentist as soon as possible. Each of these may be a sign of early gingivitis development.
It might not be too late.
Once gum disease develops, it might not be reversible. However, if you treat it early enough, you may still prevent it from causing significant damage to your gum tissues and jawbone structure. Treating gum disease requires removing the harmful bacteria from underneath your gums and allowing healthy gum tissue to reattach to your teeth.
Learn How to Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease may be prevalent for many people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prevent it from threatening your smile. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Chicago and all surrounding communities in the Chicago Metro area.