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Bleeding Gums and Other Possible Signs of Gum Disease
For many people, bleeding from the gums is not cause for alarm, yet sometimes it should be. Bleeding gums can be one of the first signs of gum disease, an inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and bone structure and that is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults. Unfortunately, most people do not know they have gum disease until the disease has progressed to the advanced stage of periodontitis. It is essential that you are familiar with the signs of gum disease and take immediate action to prevent its progression.
Gum disease leading to bleeding gums
One of the first signs of gum disease that most people notice is bleeding gums, which typically occurs while brushing and flossing. Healthy gums should not usually bleed during brushing or flossing. Unhealthy gums, however, may.
Gum tissue becomes unhealthy when bacteria is allowed to build up on the teeth and attack the soft tissues in the mouth. As the bacteria begin to attack the gum tissue, it destroys the fibers that hold the tissue to the teeth. The gums become inflamed and irritated and more prone to bleeding during brushing and flossing.
3 other early signs of gum disease
Bleeding gums aside, there are other subtle signs of early stages of gum disease that individuals should be aware of.
1. Tooth sensitivity
Some people are born with naturally sensitive teeth. Others, however, develop sensitivity as they age. Progressively sensitive teeth may be an indicator of gum disease.
Teeth become sensitive to extreme temperatures, cold air, or hard foods as the enamel grows thin and as the gums recede enough to expose the tooth roots. In this case, the teeth can become quite sensitive, as the roots are essentially tiny tunnels that transmit information directly to the nerves within the teeth.
2. Gum recession
The once-popular phrase “long in the tooth” refers to horses’ teeth, which grow with age. Human teeth, on the other hand, should not grow over time. If an individual’s teeth appear longer with age, it is likely because the gums have receded. Gum recession occurs as the tissue that holds the teeth in place begins to peel away and expose the tooth root. This is not only a cosmetic concern but is also is a major indicator of a more severe dental health issue, such as gum disease.
3. Persistent bad breath
It is normal for everyone to experience bad breath at some point or another. However, when bad breath persists regardless of how often a person brushes or rinses with mouthwash, it is likely a sign of gum disease. The bacteria that causes gum disease releases smelly gases in the mouth that linger no matter how hard a person tries to get rid of them.
Bleeding gums are one of the first signs of gum disease. If this symptom presents with others, such as tooth sensitivity, gum recession, or persistent bad breath, contact a dental professional right away, as you may be in the early stages of gum disease.
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