The 5 Warning Signs of Gum Disease

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You never want to hear you’ve been diagnosed with a disease. And even so, almost 50 percent of adults over the age of 30 and over 70 percent of those aged 65 and older have some stage of gum disease. It’s currently the number one cause of tooth loss among adults and the most common culprit of this disease is plaque.

Understanding Gum Disease

Gum disease begins when plaque—a sticky bacterial film on the teeth from food debris—is not removed with regular brushing, flossing, and professional hygiene cleanings. This plaque hardens into calculus and begins to infect and inflame the gum tissues. These tissues pull away from the teeth, leaving more space for bacterial plaque to accumulate. A progressive condition, gum disease will eventually lead to irreversibly damaged gum tissues and bone. Advanced cases of gum disease can even aggravate systemic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The 5 Most Common Symptoms of Gum Disease

  1. Red and swollen gums.
    The plaque buildup causes the gum tissues to react by becoming inflamed. Gums will be tender and appear redder and more swollen.
  2. Bleeding gums.
    Another sign of gum disease is gums that bleed easily whenever you brush and floss. This is due to the inflammation and irritation from bacterial plaque.
  3. Gum recession.
    Inflamed gum tissues will also begin to pull away from the teeth. Receding gums make teeth appear longer, but also easily harbor more dangerous bacteria and plaque.
  4. Persistent bad breath.
    The plaque present in your mouth can lead to bad breath, or “perio breath”, as the bacteria break down and release volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs).
  5. Loose teeth.
    As gum disease progresses, it damages the soft tissues and bone that support teeth. Teeth can become loose over time and may even fall out.


Schedule Your Consultation

If you have any of the signs of gum disease, be sure to schedule a consultation with your local periodontist right away.

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