It is estimated that nearly half of individuals over 30 years of age have some form of gum disease. The good news is that the colour and condition of your gums can be an indicator of potential problems and alert you to the need to see a dentist.
Gum Disease Signs You Should Not Ignore
Healthy gums should be light to medium pink, look and feel firm, and fit tightly against your teeth. The signs of unhealthy gums may include bleeding when you brush or floss, gums receding from teeth, red and/or puffy gums, and gums that hurt or ache when you brush, floss, or consume hot or cold foods and drink.
- Gingivitis – Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissues generally caused by plaque and tartar. Early intervention can reverse or decrease the effects of gingivitis.
- Periodontitis – Untreated gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, a condition where bacteria infect below the gum line with disasterous results. Gum tissue and bone can be destroyed, and it is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults.
- Warning Signs for Other Diseases
Studies have shown that there may be links between gum disease and diabetes, as well as heart disease. Other diseases your gums may alert you to include:
- Anemia – Pale gums could be a sign you have anemia, which happens when your red blood cell count is low, or you have a lack of hemoglobin, which is what gives blood its colour.
- Herpes – Cold sores often are located on the border of the mouth, but can appear on gums as well. If you notice sores on your gums, make a dental appointment right away.
- Dry Gums – This could be a sign of autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren’s syndrome, or rheumatic diseases. Dry gums can lead to or exacerbate gum disease.
Consult a Dental Professional for Diagnosis
If you exhibit any of the warning signs or symptoms, visit us as soon as possible, because we can definitively diagnose whether you have gum disease and recommend the proper treatment.