How Healthy Are Your Gums?
Check the health of your gums by answering a few simple questions
Gum diseases are very common human diseases and affect most people at some point during their lives. They are caused by the body’s reaction to bacteria that build up in the mouth and cause inflammation. The good news is that proper oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist can help prevent the appearance of gum diseases and can limit the damage that they cause if they do appear.
The bad news is that, if left untreated, gum disease can lead to the loss of teeth – which means your smile is less attractive and you can have problems with chewing and speaking. On top of that, untreated gum disease can increase your risk of suffering serious conditions including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and cerebrovascular disease.
Your gums should always look pink. If they start to look swollen, if they turn reddish in colour, and if they start to bleed – when you bite into food, when you brush your teeth (even gently), and maybe even spontaneously – the chances are you have some form of gum disease.
Symptoms such as swollen gums, reddened gums, and bleeding gums may indicate that you have gingivitis.
Bleeding gums (especially if they bleed easily or spontaneously), receding gums, wobbly teeth, and bad breath suggest that you may have the more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis. But note that bad breath and receding gums can be caused by other factors.
If your teeth become “wobbly”, it’s a sign that gum disease has damaged the tissues that support them and help keep them in place. Usually this is a sign of advanced bone loss. As teeth loosen, they can move apart and ugly dark spaces can appear between them. These are symptoms of periodontitis. Treatment is required to prevent further damage. Left untreated, a wobbly tooth can become a lost tooth.
Another sign of gum disease is shrinking – or receding – gums, which have the effect of making teeth look longer. As gums recede, they begin to expose the roots of teeth, which are darker than the crown. Receding gums are often a sign of gum disease, but not always: they may be the result of brushing your teeth too vigorously.
In all cases, if you have any of these symptoms, make an appointment with us as soon as possible for a new examination, with include Gum Health Check.