Gum Disease When it comes to your oral health, what are you worried about most? Are you concerned with the possibility of developing cavities as the years go by? Or maybe you are simply worried about the way your teeth look, wanting to keep them bright and white for as long as possible? Whatever the case, regular visits to your dentist can help either prevent or repair most of the things that may be rolling around in the back of your mind (as it relates to oral health, at least).

The story is much the same with gum disease. This oral health problem isn’t found directly in the teeth, but rather in the tissue that supports your teeth. And although it is typically painless, you shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that gum disease is an insignificant or inconsequential problem. If you have gum disease, there is the potential that you could wind up losing teeth as a result.

As is often the case with dental care, the likelihood of a positive outcome with regard to gum disease is increased when you catch it early. If you wait until your gum disease is at an advanced stage, it will be much more difficult to get it under control. While visiting Spokane Dental regularly for checkups and cleanings is obviously a good start when it comes to catching gum disease at an early stage, you can also watch for warning signs on your own. We have listed a few signs below that may indicate the presence of a form of gum disease.

Tender, Swollen Gums

One of the leading signs of gum disease is tender, swollen gums. You may notice that your gums feel a bit tender, or you may see in the mirror that they look a little swollen. Don’t discount these observations and just put them out of your mind. Once you have noticed that your gums are tender and/or swollen, there is a good chance that some form of gum disease is developing. You may come to regret not taking quick action later on, especially if your gum disease advances and you wind up having more serious oral health problems as a result.

Gums Bleeding Easily

If you have begun to notice that your gums bleed easily after being agitated slightly – such as when you brush your teeth, gum disease is again a strong possibility. You may notice that this is the case when you spit into the sink after brushing your teeth. If you see blood in the fluid you spit into the sink, that blood is very likely coming from your gums. Again here, you would be wise to take this sign seriously and schedule an appointment with your dentist to have an examination.

Loose Teeth

One of the more serious signs of gum disease is loose teeth. Obviously, your teeth should feel strong and secure in their place, so any wobbling or wiggling is another sign of trouble. We are only talking about permanent, adult teeth here, as a loose tooth in a child could simply mean that the tooth is about ready to fall out.

The three points listed above are common signs that you may have gum disease. These are not the only potential signs, however, and you might not always be able to notice on your own that you are developing a problem. This is why consistent visits to the dentist are a good idea. By avoiding letting too much time pass between dental care visits, you can stay on top of things like gum disease before they get too far along.

Did you know that there are factors which can increase the likelihood of developing gum disease? Some of the factors are within your control, while others are not. Let’s look at a quick list:

  • Using tobacco
  • Poor oral hygiene practices
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications
  • Genetics

There are some gum disease risk factors that you can’t do much about, but others are well within your control. Specifically, the use of tobacco and the oral hygiene habits you keep up with on a daily basis. If you can do right in both of those areas, you’ll be in a much better position moving forward. That doesn’t guarantee that you will stay away from gum disease, but you’ll be tilting the odds farther in your favor.

The Next Steps

At Spokane Dental, we take pride in working with our patients to battle gum disease as successfully as possible. Whether you just started noticing some initial signs, or you feel that your gum disease is rather advanced, we would be happy to help. A comprehensive periodontal evaluation can be performed at Spokane Dental, which will allow us to gain a clear understanding of the current state of your gums. From there, a treatment plan can be put in place and we can move forward with the goal of keeping your mouth as healthy as possible.

While you are probably already aware of the ways you can improve your oral health at home, we would like to repeat them here just in case. Obviously, home oral hygiene starts with twice daily brushing, along with once daily flossing. If you can be as consistent as possible with those two points, you’ll be doing yourself a big favor. Also, the use of mouthwash is a good idea for most patients, as it can help to prevent and reduce plaque.

Needless to say, the best-case scenario is that you’ll be able to avoid gum disease altogether as a result of proper dental care and good oral health habits. With that said, you can’t just assume that you’ll be able to steer clear of this issue, so it is wise to pay attention to any warning signs that may pop up as time goes by. If you do spot any signs of gum disease, feel free to contact Spokane Dental to schedule an appointment. Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog, as we hope to serve you soon!