The early warning signs of gum disease and how to prevent them

Recognising and spotting the early signs of gum disease is extremely important if you want to protect your teeth and your oral heal. Gum issues that are left untreated can quickly turn from mild problems to major issues that affect your overall health. In this blog, we’ll take a look at how you can spot gum disease early and some simple steps you can take to keep gum disease at bay.

Gum disease isn’t something that simply goes away and will often require treatment from your dentist to stop any further damage. Below we’ve listed some of the common signs of gum disease so if you experience any of these then it’s time to book an appointment at your dentist.

  • Red or inflamed gums
  • Bleeding following brushing or flossing your teeth
  • Bad breath that returns quickly after brushing
  • Receding gums
  • Loss of teeth or loose teeth

What types of gum issues cause problems?

There are two main types of gum disease that cause problems which are gingivitis and periodontitis. In it’s early stages the impact of gum disease can be reversed but as it progresses gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other more serious health issues.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the mildest form and earliest stage of gum disease. Some of the common signs of gingivitis include bad breath, swelling of the gums, and bleeding when brushing your teeth or eating certain foods. Those with gingivitis will often experience a mild level of discomfort but it is important to seek professional help from a dentist if you have any of these symptoms as without treatment the health of your gums can deteriorate and lead to periodontitis.

Periodontitis

A more severe form of gum disease, periodontitis is caused by plaque spreading below the gum line causing chronic inflammation and a separation of the gums from the teeth. This can cause infection that if left untreated leads to tooth loss and bone loss. Not only does this sound scary, but it is. Getting any issues checked out quickly is the best way to help prevent your gum disease from getting worse.

5 ways to help prevent gum disease

Good oral health is one of the key factors that influences gum health so follow these 5 tips to help keep your gums in good condition.

  1. Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day and don’t forget your tongue. If you can’t brush after meals, try gargling water or a mouthwash. This will help keep your mouth fresh and stop nasty bacteria from lingering
  2. Floss at least once a day – Yes, we know most people hate flossing but it removes the food particles that get missed from brushing. Trust us when we say, flossing will seem like an extremely mild inconvenience compared to losing teeth.
  3. Know what will increase your risk of gum disease, such as your age, whether you smoke, diet and genetics.
  4. Don’t skip dental check-ups – Book an appointment at your dentist every 6 – 12 months to stay on top of your oral health.
  5. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush – and remember, brushing harder doesn’t mean brushing effectively.

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