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Gum Disease: Five Warning Signs That You Need to See a Periodontist

 

In today’s day and age of health and wellness, we tend to be more concerned about our mental and physical well-being, completely dismissing our dental health.  Did you know that both gingivitis and periodontitis have been shown to raise your risk of illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, pneumonia, and cancer?  Understanding the symptoms and receiving proper treatment will help decrease those risks and result in overall better health.

Symptoms:

Bleeding Gum Tissue

One of the most tell-tale signs of gum disease is red, swollen - bleeding gums.  This usually happens in the beginning stages of gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, which is a gum infection, caused by excessive plaque buildup.  This irritation and inflammation of your gum tissue will result in bleeding gums.  The good news - gingivitis is completely reversible with the proper prevention.  The bad news - when left untreated, bone loss and future tooth loss are inevitable risks.

Chronic Bad Breath

Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria.  Toxins from these bacteria not only further infect the gum tissue, but also result in a foul smelling breath.  If your bad breath or halitosis persists even with regular oral care, it’s time to see a periodontist.

Receding Gums

If your teeth start looking a little longer than usual, it is not because they are growing.  Your gums are shrinking and your teeth are pulling away from their roots which can lead to full periodontitis and tooth loss if not treated.  If your recession is caught in the early stages, a deep periodontal cleaning may be enough to reverse the damage.

Sensitive Teeth

Gum recession is a gradual process that can go unnoticed for several years. Extreme sensitivity to cold, hot drinks and even air may indicate an ensuing problem.  When your gum tissue has receded to the point where the roots of your teeth are exposed, you might experience sensitivity and your gums are further vulnerable to infection.

Loose or Wiggly Teeth

Gum disease can attack the bones that hold your teeth in place, making them wiggly and loose. This is an indication that you are in an advanced stage of periodontal disease and a clear sign that professional help is required.   At this dangerous stage, gum tissue starts to pull away from the teeth and form pockets of harmful bacteria and debris. If allowed to fester, the end result could be tooth loss.  Recent research suggests that the bacterium that forms with periodontitis can enter the bloodstream through the gum tissue and possibly affect your heart, lungs and other parts of your body.  This is a serious complication and should not be dismissed.

Prevention:

The most effective way to prevent periodontitis is to follow a program of good oral hygiene.  Brushing and flossing at least twice a day is suggested.  The other preventative measure suggested is scheduling regular visits to your dentist for routine check-ups and cleaning.  If your condition worsens and you are in need of a periodontist, there are many options to reach your optimal dental health.  Remember – the sooner you seek medical attention, the better your chances of possibly reversing harmful damage from periodontitis.

Periodontal disease affects millions of people in the U.S. every year and is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults.  Early detection and treatment will prevent extensive damage to your teeth and might help ward off any significant health issues as well. 

If you or a loved one is displaying any of these serious symptoms, contact San Antonio Periodontics and Implants for a consultation.  Our dedicated doctors and friendly staff will help you take the next step to regaining your confident, healthy smile!    

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