Are you concerned, because you have noticed your gums look different, darker lately? Maybe you’ve seen blood on the surface of your floss, or left in the sink after brushing. These are actually a few of the many warning signs that you could be struggling with gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. It is a condition that should not be taken lightly, as gum disease can eventually lead to tooth loss. Gum disease also has links to a variety of medical conditions, including heart disease and diabetes, because of the way the bloodstream connects the gum tissue to other parts of the body. Fortunately it is possible to address and often reverse the symptoms of gum disease; it just requires professional dental treatment!
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.