How to Recognize Common Signs of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that causes irritation, redness, and swelling of the gingiva, or the tissue that lines the teeth. It is usually caused by bacteria forming between and around the teeth. Habits that can contribute to the growth of this bacteria include poor dental habits, like not brushing or flossing correctly, use of tobacco products, certain medications like steroids, anti-epilepsy medications, calcium channel blockers, birth control, cancer medications, and misaligned teeth that are difficult to floss or brush effectively.
Gingivitis is the mild variety of gum disease, but if left untreated, the infection can reach below the gumline and through the bone, causing periodontitis. The plaque associated with gingivitis can also destroy the gum tissue and lead to other complications, including tooth loss, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease, so it is important to know what gingivitis looks like and receive a diagnosis early.
The team at Austell Dental Associates can help detect and prevent these issues, but between appointments, it helps to look for common signs of gum disease. In order to understand what unhealthy gums look like, one must first understand what healthy gums look like.
Characteristics of healthy gums include:
- A color that is coral pink or a slightly darker shade of pink
- Gum tissue that is not inflamed and fits comfortably around your teeth
- Moist gum tissue
- Lack of excessive bleeding when brushing and flossing
- Neutral and pleasant breath alongside these other characteristics
- Strong attachment to sturdy teeth
On the other hand, gingivitis is caused by unhealthy gums, which look a bit different. You might not notice these symptoms even if gingivitis is present, but your dentist will be able to detect the disease at your routine check-ups.
Characteristics of unhealthy gums include:
- Gums that are red and swollen
- Gums that are tender
- Bad breath
- Inflamed tissues supporting the teeth
- Insecure attachment to the teeth
- An appearance of the gums shrinking or growing smaller over time
How to Be Proactive About Preventing and Treating Gum Disease
At Austell Dental Associates, we can help you combat gingivitis through routine office check-ups, cleanings, and proper guidance through your at-home oral care routine. The best way to clean the teeth at home and prevent gingivitis is to thoroughly brush and floss at least twice daily. However, even those who are proactive about their oral health can find themselves with gingivitis due to genetics or other circumstances.
In these cases, seeking periodontal care at Austell Dental Associates will help you heal gingival pockets, protect and strengthen jawbone and teeth density, eliminate bacteria from the gums, resolve bad breath issues related to disease, and reduce gum pain and bleeding. Most importantly, seeking periodontal care can help prevent the more serious health complications that gum disease causes over time. Scheduling your dental appointment will be a step in the right direction, and together we can observe your symptoms, prevent complications, and keep your smile looking healthy and beautiful.
To schedule your dental appointment and be proactive about preventing gingivitis, call us today at (770) 467-3888 or contact us online.