How Do I Know if My Gums Are Unhealthy?
Healthy gums are paramount to a healthy mouth. Many of our Troy area dental patients want to have beautiful smiles, and we can provide a full range of cosmetic services for those that need it. However, the first step to a beautiful smile is healthy teeth and gums. Often when a patient comes to us looking for help making their smile better, we have to start with the basics and help them resolve fundamental hygiene and gum health issues. Some dental patients are not aware that they have gum health issues, or what the signs of unhealthy gums are.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums, caused by bacteria and plaque that has built up in your mouth. For most patients, the bacteria and plaque are brushed away from the teeth and gums during their daily brushing. However, poor brushing habits can cause bacteria and plaque to build up on your teeth, and can cause infections, bleeding and irritation in your teeth, gums and when severe enough, the bones of your jaw. Gum disease is easily preventable, but we frequently see patients who have been suffering for many years with unhealthy gums.
What Does Gum Disease Look Like?
Gum disease has some pretty obvious signs if you know what you are looking for. And if caught early, it can be reversed. Here are some common symptoms of gum disease:
- Red, puffy or tender gums.
- Bleeding during brushing or flossing.
- Teeth that look longer due to receded gums.
- Pockets in the gums caused by the gums pulling away from the teeth.
- Changes in your bite.
- Pus between your teeth and gums.
- A constant bad taste in your mouth or bad breath.
If you notice any of these symptoms it’s a good idea to visit us right away, so that we can develop a plan of care for your teeth and gums.
The Stages of Gum Disease
There are three stages of gum disease.
- Gingivitis: Most of our patients have heard about gingivitis on television commercials for products like toothpaste and mouthwash. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and is also the easiest to resolve. Symptoms of gingivitis include irritated gum tissue and some minor bleeding when brushing and flossing. This stage of gum disease can be reversed with improved brushing and flossing.
- Periodontitis: If your gum disease has progressed to periodontitis, you have already damaged the bone and soft tissues that hold your teeth in place. A common symptom of periodontitis is the separation of the gums from the teeth. This creates pockets where more plaque and food can be trapped. While some damage cannot be resolved, deep cleaning by your hygienist and improved brushing and flossing can reverse some of the damage.
- Advanced Periodontitis: This is the most severe stage of gum disease. At this stage, bone is substantially damaged and you may start noticing differences in your bite and loose teeth. At this stage, much of the damage done to your mouth cannot be repaired and many patients end up having teeth removed.
For More Information on Gum Disease Contact Troy Dentist, Paul Mansky, DDS
Gum disease is easily avoided by a good routine of brushing, flossing and regular visits to your dentist. Dr. Mansky and his staff love to help their patients have beautiful healthy smiles, and that often starts with improving oral hygiene habits. Whether you are looking for amazing cosmetic dentistry or just a good check-up and cleaning, our Tory dental office can fill all of your dental needs. To learn more about our practice or to schedule an appointment in our Troy Dental Office, please call us at (248) 689-5508.