When you examine your mouth, you probably look mostly at your teeth. After all, teeth are the showstoppers of the mouth and are the first things to catch your eye. Yet just as important as teeth are your gums. If unhealthy, gums can develop gum disease, which can lead to a spreading infection and even tooth loss. But do you know how to tell if your gums are unhealthy?
Types of Gum Disease
You have probably heard of gingivitis and likely know that it refers to the inflammation of the gums. However, did you know that gingivitis works against your body’s immune system, making it difficult for your body to kill bacteria? Without treatment gingivitis often progresses to a more sinister form of gum disease called periodontitis. Sometimes causing tooth loss and often damaging tooth-supporting tissues and ligaments, periodontitis attacks teeth below the gum line and often causes the development of bacteria-filled pockets between the teeth and gums.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Unhealthy gums typically appear to be red and puffy. They are also often tender to the touch. However, there are a few other symptoms you should be aware of. If you notice any of the symptoms on the following list and they persist, contact Dr. Staten.
- Bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Pockets between gums and teeth
Preventing Gum Disease
Consistent and thorough homecare and regular visits with your dentist go a long way toward preventing gum disease. When brushing, be sure to angle the bristles of your toothbrush toward the gum line to remove bacteria from your teeth and gums. However, if you experience bleeding gums because of your brushing and the bleeding becomes regular, consult Dr. Staten.
Schedule a Visit with Dr. Staten
If you experience red, puffy, or bleeding gums, you may have developed gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss and other health problems. Don’t neglect to seek dental care. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Staten.