3 Early Signs Of Gum Disease
Periodontitis, the more advanced form of gum disease, is a condition that affects almost half of American adults over 30. As it progresses, it can lead to severe infection, gum recession, and tooth loss. The most effective and easiest way to treat gum disease is to catch it in the earliest stage, which is called gingivitis. At this stage, the damage can be reversed with basic dental care like daily brushing and flossing combined with visits to a dentist’s office for plaque removal. Here’s a closer look at the early signs of gingivitis.
When to Seek Dental Care for Your Gums
1. Plaque Buildup
Gum disease begins when bacteria-containing plaque accumulates along the gumline and irritates the soft tissue. Over time, the plaque hardens into tartar. The gum tissue will swell and eventually recede to escape contact with the tartar, which exposes more of the teeth’s roots to bacterial activity.
Removing the tartar before your mouth reaches this point helps soothe your gums. Tartar is very hard and can’t be removed with a toothbrush or floss, so you’ll need to visit your family dentistry provider for a cleaning.
2. Red and Swollen Gum Tissue
When bacterial infection is present, blood rushes to the gums to heal the tissue. Unfortunately, this can end up contributing to the irritation.
You may notice that your gums bleed easily when you brush and floss, and a moderate amount of pain may be present as well. Gum irritation can also be caused by using a hard-bristled toothbrush or scrubbing too hard, so check your brushing technique to determine if that’s the source of the irritation.
In addition to sore gums, the early stage of periodontal disease can also cause sensitivity by exposing the roots of your teeth. The crown of the tooth is covered with hard, protective dental enamel, but when it comes to the root, the softer inner dentin is exposed, and the tooth’s nerves are closer to the surface. When food, cool air, water, and bacteria are able to touch the root of the tooth, it can become painful much more quickly than before.