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Do I Have Gum Disease?

About half of all adults in the United States will deal with gum disease at some point in their lives. This infection of the gum tissue may seem like a nuisance at first glance, but it can cause serious and irreversible damage to your teeth, gums, and jaw if you do not receive prompt treatment for this condition.

Sometimes, gum disease does not have noticeable symptoms to point to a periodontal problem. This is why you must continue to visit your dentist for routine oral health care on a regular basis.

But if you know some signs of this oral infection, you can be more likely to seek the periodontal treatment you need to protect your smile. Read on to learn three of the most common symptoms that could mean that you have gum disease.

Do I Have Gum Disease

Irritated Gum Tissue

During the initial stage of gum disease, gingivitis, bacteria irritate the gum tissue, which may make the gums swollen and sore. They often might also be quick to bleed when you brush your teeth or eat certain foods.

Puffiness in the gums might make you feel self-conscious about your smile’s appearance. But inflamed gums will also cause systemic issues throughout your body if the condition goes untreated. So do not ignore periodontal discomfort. Tell your dentist about changes in your gum health.

Bad Breath

Bad-smelling breath can develop in any of us if we consume strong foods or beverages. But usually, bad breath goes away when we brush or floss away lingering food particles in our mouths. If bad breath persists after completing oral hygiene, it could stem from bacterial build-up within your mouth.

Gum disease is one condition linked to excess bacteria because bacteria can accrue deep in the pockets of the gum tissue. As bacteria remain trapped in your smile, it begins to emit a foul odor that affects your breath.

So if you notice chronic bad breath, this could be a symptom of a larger dental issue that warrants an evaluation from your dentist. Not only might you feel embarrassed about this symptom, but it could also signify an underlying oral health concern.

Shifting Teeth

As mentioned, gum disease may result in swelling of the gum tissue, but as the infection progresses, the gums may start to recede as well. With less support from connective tissue, your teeth may start to shift out of place and become crooked.

The teeth may also feel loose or wobbly in their sockets. In cases of advanced gum disease, the teeth may fall out. And without enough healthy gum tissue, a dentist might not be able to restore the teeth to your smile.

A dentist can help you replace missing teeth, but you should preserve your natural dental structure for as long as possible. This means paying attention to symptoms present in your smile and seeking dental attention for signs of potential periodontal problems. Keep your dentist informed about any changes in your smile, especially when it comes to your gums.