gum disease symptoms

Do You Have Gum Disease? Here’s How to Check

Around half of all adults older than thirty have periodontal disease. That’s close to 65 million Americans walking around with advanced gum disease. Let that sink in for a moment.

The cause of this rampant lack of dental hygiene is partly from people not taking enough care of their gums, such as not flossing or brushing less than the recommend amount. This is also caused by a startling lack of knowledge of what gum disease is.  Thankfully, we’re here to change that. Read on to learn what gum disease is and how to check if you have gum disease.

Gingivitis and Periodontitis

You’ve heard of gingivitis before, we all have, but what is it? Well, gingivitis is an inflammation of your gums caused by a buildup of bacteria. The bacteria are caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar. The plaque and tartar are caused by poor dental hygiene.

Gingivitis is the milder form of gum disease. It’s easily treatable improving brushing habits, flossing daily, and getting regular teeth cleanings. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is much more serious.

Periodontitis is “advanced gingivitis.” It’s when your gums actually pull away from your teeth and form infected areas called pockets. These bacteria from these pockets spreads below your gum line and begins to break down gum tissue. If left untreated, these bacteria can even break down bone. Either of these will require a gum graft or bone graft to fix.

While it’s true that almost 65 million Americans have some form of gum disease, you’ll know if you have periodontitis. How will you know? You’ll start to display some of the gum disease symptoms listed below.

Your Gums are Swollen, Receding, or Bleeding

A simple way to tell the health of your gums is by how they look and feel. This may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised by the large number of people who pay little attention to what’s going on in their mouths.

Ask yourself the following questions: what color are your gums? What size are your gums? How far down your teeth do they reach? How do they respond to being brushed? What about being flossed?

The answers will start to give you an idea of how healthy your gums are. If they’re pink and “normal sized,” you’re in luck. If they’re red and inflamed, you’re going to want to practice better brushing and flossing habits. If your gums bleed while brushing and flossing, it’s time to seriously reevaluate your dental hygiene.

Your Teeth are Sensitive

Another simple way to test whether you have gum disease or not is to pay attention to how your teeth are feeling. A healthy set of teeth won’t be sensitive to hot or cold food and drink. You’ll be able to eat ice cream without wincing if your teeth and gums are healthy.

On the other hand,  if your teeth hurt after eating or drinking something hot or cold, it’s time to start brushing and flossing more often. Sensitive teeth are a common sign of gingivitis

You Have Bad Breath

This may seem too obvious, but persistent bad breath is a sure sign that something’s going on in your mouth. It’s important to note that we’re not talking about morning breath, but chronic halitosis.

Halitosis is bad breath caused by bacteria and the decay of food particles. Remember, a buildup of bacteria leads to both gingivitis and periodontitis. So, if you have bad breath and think you may have gum disease, you’re going to want to improve your brushing and flossing habits.

If you have any questions about how to prevent gum disease, come see the experts at SmilesNY. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!