Oral health problems aren’t limited to problems with your teeth. You can also have problems with your gums. Often, problems with your teeth are what lead to gum problems. Having gum problems can cause a lot of complications for your oral health. When you have gum issues, it’s important to see a doctor to have them assessed and treated. There are many treatments for gum issues that can help with the problems. The type of treatment that you may need will depend on the specific type of gum disease that you have, how it’s affecting your teeth, and how widespread it is. Among people in the U.S. over 30, nearly half of them have a chronic case of periodontitis, or inflammation of the gums. If you’re one of them, it may be time to see the dentist. Here’s how to tell whether you need to be seen by a doctor for your gum problems.
Bleeding gums when you brush or floss your teeth is a major sign that there’s something wrong with your gums. When you have this happen, it’s often a sign that your gums are in the early stage of gingivitis. This is the name for gum disease. You may notice that when you rinse your teeth, there is some blood in the water, or you may see blood on your toothbrush or on your floss. If you have bleeding from your mouth when you eat, this is a sign of periodontitis that is more advanced. Seeing blood when brushing, flossing, or eating is a sign that you need to see a doctor about the problem before it gets any worse.
Gums that Are Swollen, Red, and/or Tender
Gingivitis is caused by bacteria that affect the teeth and gums. When you have gingivitis, your gums will be inflamed and may be highly sensitive. They often turn red or become swollen as well. When inflamed gums are not treated, they will swell and cause deep pockets to form around the affected teeth. When you have these pockets around the teeth, you are more likely to lose those teeth or to have them shift and become crooked. It’s never a good idea to ignore swollen gums. If your gums look redder than usual and are sensitive to touch, you need to see a doctor. If your gums are tender, bleeding, or painful, it’s time to get treatment for your gum disease.
Consistently Bad Breath
Many people think about the smell of their breath as being more about what they have eaten lately, and there is some component of this. However, the smell of bad breath can also be a sign that you have gum disease. If your bad breath is chronic, and having good oral hygiene doesn’t help it, it could be a sign that you have an infection in your gums. Chronic bad breath should be checked out by a doctor to see whether it’s a sign of gum disease.
Tooth Sensitivity to Heat and Cold
When gum disease becomes advanced, it can cause you to have more tooth sensitivity. This happens because the gums can recede when they have gum disease, and this can expose the roots of the teeth. Having exposed areas of roots can cause serious sensitivity. This is often apparent when you eat or drink something that is hot or cold. You might also have more tooth sensitivity when you have enamel erosion on the teeth, which is a separate problem. If you experience heat or cold sensitivity, or both, you need to see a doctor to find out what is causing it. If it’s gum disease, it can be treated in a number of ways depending on the severity of it.
In children, having loose teeth is expected periodically. However, the same is not true for adults. Your permanent teeth are supposed to last a lifetime, so they should never be loose. When you have periodontitis, this can form deep pockets around the affected teeth, and this can make them less stable and become loose. If you see that there are changes in how your teeth are situated or how they fit together, this can be a sign of serious periodontal disease. This can also lead to problems with chewing. It can lead to gaps in between your teeth as well. When you have gum disease, it can lead to bone loss, and this means that the teeth aren’t kept in place securely. This is a sign that you need to see a doctor about your gum disease.
As your gums recede, it can make your teeth look longer. When the gums are receding, this is a sign that you have advanced gum disease that is causing serious effects on your teeth. This can lead to the roots being exposed, and it can eventually lead to tooth loss. If you notice a recession of your gums, see the doctor for treatment.
When you have gum disease, don’t wait to see a doctor. Call us at The Center for Family & Implant Dentistry to make your appointment to have your teeth and gums examined.