Early Symptoms of Gum Disease

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
May 7, 2019

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Do you know what the early signs of gum disease are?

What’s particularly scary about gum disease is that it doesn’t just affect your gums. As the disease progresses and worsens, your teeth can become loose and fall out! So it’s really important to take this seriously and to be aware of what the early signs are. With this information, you’ll be able to take action right away if symptoms do develop, and you could regain the health of your gums with the right treatment from your dentist.  

To help you recognize this oral health problem as soon as it takes hold, below is a list of gum disease symptoms that may occur in its early stages.  

It Starts with Gingivitis

The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, which is basically inflammation of the gums. If you catch it early and start treating it, gingivitis may not progress into gum disease. So it’s all about being aware of the symptoms, and going for regular dental checkups and cleanings to keep your gums strong.

What causes gingivitis? Put simply, the bacteria that are found in plaque end up accumulating. As a result, your gums start to get inflamed.

You might notice that, when you brush your teeth or when you’re flossing, your gums bleed for no apparent reason (look for blood on your toothbrush or in the sink when you spit). And, if you look closely, you might also see that your gums look swollen and red.

There might be irritation in the gums at this stage as well. But the good news is that your teeth aren’t affected yet, and you can reverse gingivitis if you start to treat it right away.

A Closer Look at Gum Disease Symptoms

Ignoring the symptoms of gingivitis isn’t wise, as it may end up progressing into full-blown gum disease, which is also referred to as periodontitis. At that point, you’re risking further gum damage that may eventually lead to loose teeth. And no one wants to lose their teeth!

A lot of people don’t know that, in its earliest stages, you might not even realize that you have gum disease, as symptoms might not be so obvious yet. But, even if you don’t have any symptoms, your dentist will be able to pick up on the signs that something is amiss. Just another great reason to book those dental appointments!

Just remember: for some people, no symptoms might be apparent, even after gingivitis has progressed into later stages of gum disease. And, for others, the symptoms might be really subtle. But, again, if you notice that your gums are tender, swollen, red, or bleeding during brushing or flossing, it’s time to talk to your dentist.

Other symptoms that may become more and more apparent as the gum disease advances include:

  • Gums that are receding away from the teeth (you might notice that your teeth start to look longer than they used to)
  • Deep pockets that are forming between your gums and your teeth
  • A bad taste in your mouth that persists
  • Bad breath that doesn’t seem to go away
  • Abscesses in the gums
  • Changes in your bite (or, in the case of dentures, how they fit)
  • Pain when chewing
  • Teeth that are sensitive
  • Teeth that are shifting or becoming loose

Quick Fact: Gum disease might only end up affecting some of your teeth. For example, you might only have it in your back teeth.

To Protect Your Gums, It’s So Important to See Your Dentist!

Sure, there are some gum disease symptoms that occur early on in the disease, so you might notice the warning signs right away. But it isn’t always so clear, so you might end up with gingivitis and gum disease without realizing it. Not good! Thankfully, there’s an easy solution to this problem.

The best way to protect your oral health is by seeing your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. At every visit, your dental hygienist can thoroughly clean your teeth and gums, and your dentist can examine your mouth for the earliest signs of gum issues.

If gum disease is diagnosed, don’t worry, as your dentist will be able to advise you on what you can do to restore the health of your gums before more damage occurs. And with the right insurance, you can rest assured that you won’t have to break the bank to get the cleanings, checkups, and treatments that you need to keep your gums in tip-top shape!


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