When many people think of dental issues, cavities and tooth decay immediately come to mind.
Yet, oddly, these are not the leading causes of tooth loss globally. A recent study found that periodontal disease, or gum disease, is the largest cause of tooth loss and, unfortunately, few people know that they are suffering from it.
With links to poor hygiene and even genetics, gum disease can be easily spotted with a bit of know-how and prevented with regular dental checkups with your dentist in Southgate. But what are some of the most common signs of gum disease? Here are the top 5 that are often overlooked by dental patients but can easily be treated by your dental team.
If you have ever brushed your teeth too enthusiastically, you may have suffered from swollen gums, which will hurt when touched.
If you notice that a swollen patch of gum is spreading across your mouth or your gum line is gradually swelling, seek help from your dental professional.
Bright red colouring
A healthy set of gums should appear dark pink and may look slightly paler around the teeth, depending on your ethnicity and genetics surrounding oral health.
But if you notice that your gums look redder than usual or have purple spots, then you need to see your dental team to discuss gum disease. As these issues cause inflammation, the affected area will change colour, leading to sore patches o the gums. The purple patches are usually pools of blood under your gum line, so if you notice any of these signs, seek help urgently.
If you have ever seen adverts surrounding mouthwashes to treat gum disease, you will know that bleeding when brushing can be a red flag.
But it isn’t only limited to brushing; if you have a metallic taste in your mouth each day or you notice bleeding when you eat or apply pressure to your gums, this can also point to periodontal disease.
In summary, if there is blood when you eat or brush, seek urgent dental help!
Unpleasant breath or taste
Everyone has smelly breath from time to time, especially in the mornings or after eating certain foods.
But should you notice persistent bad breath (irrespective of bruising or hydration levels), then it may be time to seek assistance from your dental team. Foul breath can be caused by excessive amounts of plaque and bacteria in your mouth, and, should your dental team spot high levels of these, they may refer you for a scale and polish with a dental hygienist
If your gums feel tender or sore when you touch them, this is a sign that you may have untreated periodontal disease.
In the more advanced stages, many people feel discomfort when they brush their teeth or even when they eat. This discomfort can also feel like extreme sensitivity due to the gaps around the teeth that can accompany gum disease.
If you notice any of these symptoms, please call your dental team for an assessment.