Gum disease is often underestimated as a problem for oral health. There are different types of gum disease and these can affect your mouth and health to varying degrees. Gingivitis is probably the most common type of gum disease, an early sign that there may be problems to deal with. Without treatment, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which can cause gums to shrink back from teeth and may be responsible for tooth loss, as well as dental pain. Perhaps the most dramatic type of gum disease is acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis, which causes bad breath, ulcers and fever.
Looking after you teeth includes looking out for indications of gum disease so that you can take early action to stop it turning into something worse. These three key signs of gum issues are probably the most important of all:
Red, bleeding and swollen gums
In their healthy state your gums should be firm and pink and they shouldn’t cause you any pain when you’re eating, drinking or talking. If your gums are red and they feel puffy to the touch then you may have the first stage of gum disease: gingivitis. If you’re noticing blood when you brush or floss your teeth then that’s also a sign that you need to take action before problems progress any further
What to do: make sure you brush twice a day and floss regularly, cut down on sugary, sweet foods and drink plenty of water.
Bad breath and loose teeth
All of us get bad breath sometimes but if you’re having persistent problems then you may have advanced gum disease. If you haven’t treated gingivitis then the inflammation that causes it could be helping to create plaque on your teeth. Once this hardens into tartar this can cause serious issues, including, halitosis, abscesses and loose teeth.
What to do: if your dental routine has lapsed a little, take a week to try and improve it. If things are still the same book an appointment with the dentist and the hygienist.
A bad taste
Having a metallic taste in your mouth, too much saliva, painful ulcers, bleeding gums and even a fever or difficulty swallowing could all be signs of serious gum disease.
What to do: book a dentist appointment straight away.
If you have any concerns about your oral health and you’re suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above that just don’t go away, the safest option is always to see a dentist – it could save you a lot of cost and pain further down the line.