We've all heard of gum disease, but do you know that much about it? Gum disease can be really sinister and that's why dentists like us at Lifetime Dental Care in South Lyon and Canton are vigilant about it. You see, gum disease is caused by bacteria building up on and underneath your gums. Gum disease begins with barely noticeable symptoms to you (dentists are able to see it forming).
Here are some common symptoms of gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease:
* Red gums, not pink
* Swollen gums
* Tender gums
* Bleeding gums, particularly when you brush or floss
* Bad breath
* A little discomfort or tenderness when eating or drinking
You should know that most people tell us they didn’t worry when they saw a little blood on their toothbrush. However, after a while, it just becomes normal for them. But it’s anything but normal. It's vital that if you have any of these signs, you let us know. Early-stage gum disease is reversible with proper care. We can usually perform a dental cleaning and help you know how to take care of your gums at home.
For many people, gum disease may never move past gingivitis, which is inflammation of your gums. Yet, there’s no way to know how or when gingivitis will progress if you don’t see a professional dentist. If it does progress, you may be dealing with periodontitis, infection of your gums. This stage of gum disease is chronic and ranges from mild to advanced. You might notice some of the same symptoms as gingivitis, so you may not know your body is now fighting an infection. Here are some other symptoms associated with periodontitis:
* Receding gums
* Longer-looking teeth
* Notches on your teeth near your gums
* Pockets in your gums
* Pain in your gums
* Loose teeth
* Changes in your bite, with either your natural teeth or dentures
As your body fights the infection, it can start attacking your jawbone too. Of course, your bone supports your teeth, so with unhealthy gums and bones, you start to lose the vital support your teeth need. That’s why periodontal disease is responsible for more tooth loss than even cavities.
The dentists at Lifetime Dental in Canton, Michigan and South Lyon, Michigan think it’s best that you're on the look out for early signs of gum disease. It's our intention to always make sure you have healthy teeth and gums. Schedule your next dental cleaning with us today.