If you have chronic bad breath, notice blood in the sink after brushing or flossing or your gums appear puffy and inflamed, you may be suffering from the early stages of gum disease. It's caused by an infection in your gums and is best prevented with good oral hygiene. Gum disease treatment requires taking antibiotics to eliminate the infection – more serious cases may require intensive dental cleaning or surgical intervention to drain the infection from your gums and prevent further damage.
Gum disease is progressive, so it's important to begin treatment as soon as you notice symptoms. If gum disease treatment is not started early, gum disease can progress into periodontitis. This happens when the infection in your gums begins to spread and infect the bones that keep your teeth in place. This can cause you to lose your teeth. If you notice any of the symptoms below, make an appointment with a dentist immediately to discuss treatment options.
You Notice Blood in the Sink When You Brush Your Teeth
This is one of the earliest signs of gingivitis. When your gums become infected by the plaque that builds up around your gumline, they will become soft and inflamed. This makes them much easier to accidentally scratch when you are brushing your teeth, leading to bleeding gums.
Note that this is sometimes caused by brushing or flossing too aggressively. You should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and light pressure when you're brushing your teeth. You don't want to abrade your gums when you brush your teeth, as the open sores can become infected and increase your risk of gum disease.
Your Gums Appear Red or Inflamed
Inflammation is the body's natural response to infection. If your gums appear red or swollen or are sore to the touch, it's a sign that you have a bacterial infection in your gums. It's important to treat this as soon as possible before the infection has a chance to spread into the bones of your jaw.
Your Gums Begin to Recede Away From Your Teeth
In more advanced cases of gum disease, a portion of your gums will pull away from your teeth and retract towards the top or bottom of your mouth. This exposes more of your tooth to be exposed. After you brush your teeth in the morning, closely examine your teeth in the bathroom mirror to check for recession – it usually only affects one or two teeth at a time. It's an easy symptom to spot and is a sign that your gum disease is progressing, so make an appointment with a dentist right away if you notice it.
You Have Chronic Bad Breath
When you have gingivitis, the bacteria infecting your gums can cause chronic bad breath. If you're using mouthwash, chewing gum or eating mints frequently to mask your bad breath, early stages of gum disease may be the cause.
Gum disease is best prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene – brush and floss your teeth regularly, avoid snacking between meals when you are not able to brush your teeth, avoid tobacco use and avoid tobacco use. This will reduce your risk of developing gingivitis. However, if you notice any of the signs of gingivitis, you'll need to schedule an appointment with a dentist to have the infection treated. To learn more, contact a company like Fuller Periodontics & Implant Dentistry.