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Understanding the Signs of Gum Disease

Posted in Dental Health

Gum disease is one of the most common dental ailments not only across the United States, but across the globe. Perhaps even more troublesome, however, is the fact that gum disease is so easily preventable. The key to preventing gum disease is not only to stay on top of one’s dental hygiene, but to be aware of some of the common signs of gum problems, as outlined here.

Red (Not Pink) Gums

Healthy gums should appear pink in color; gums that are a deeper pink or red are often that color because they are infected with bacteria (this is how gum disease starts). Furthermore, those with gum disease often have swollen and very tender gums. Those who have noticed red and/or swollen gums should see a dentistry professional near Sioux Falls for an exam right away.

Gums That Easily Bleed

Another common sign of gum disease that many people with gingivitis or periodontitis encounter is that of gums that bleed very easily. For example, the gums may bleed every time one brushes his or her teeth, or even when flossing. For some people with more advanced stages of gum disease, bleeding may occur even when eating or simply talking.

Persistent Bad Breath

Bad breath isn’t a telltale sign of gum disease by any means, but it is a very common indicator. The reason that so many people with gum disease also suffer from persistent bad breath is that, when gum disease occurs, small pockets of bacterial infection form in the spaces between the gums. The bad breath smell, then, is so hard to get rid of because the bacteria in those pockets cannot be reached with a toothbrush or floss pick.

Preventing Gum Disease

Anybody who thinks they may be experiencing symptoms of gum disease should begin with an exam at his or her local dentist’s office. From there, a hygienist or dentist will be able to confirm the diagnosis and formulate a plan for treatment. In early cases, gum disease is completely treatable and manageable, but as it progresses, it can be more difficult to treat and its side effects impossible to reverse. 

Having an understanding of gum disease and its causes is an important part in protecting one’s dental health. By knowing how to recognize these symptoms in addition to seeing one’s dentist regularly, it is possible to avoid gum disease.

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