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5 Early Signs of Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

Nearly half of all American adults over 30 years old have some form of gum disease (periodontitis). And many adults are not aware they suffer from this disease. This is a big deal, because if it’s left untreated, gum disease causes irreversible damage to your teeth and gums.

So how can you recognize gum disease early? Seeing a dentist like Dr. Robert Miller for a checkup is a good place to start. But before you schedule your appointment at Sarasota Bay Dental, you can look for a few early warning signs of gum disease, and determine whether you may be suffering from this common oral health issue. Let’s discuss the top 5 early signs of gum disease now.

1. Gums Bleeding When Brushing Or Flossing 

This is the first early warning sign of gum disease that most people will notice. If you find that your gums are bleeding when you brush or floss, and you’re constantly spitting out bloody or pink-tinged saliva, this may be an early indication of gum disease.

This happens when bacteria-filled plaque and tartar build up around your teeth and gums. Your inflamed, sensitive gums will be more prone to bleeding when they’re disturbed by floss or the bristles of your toothbrush. 

2. Gum Discoloration And Inflammation

You may also notice that your gums do not look normal. Normally, healthy gums look light pink, though this can vary for people of some ethnicities who may have darker gums.

But in the early stages of gum disease, your gums may start to look red or dark. They also may become more puffy and inflamed. If you notice changes in the color or puffiness of your gums, this could indicate gum disease.

3. Gum Tenderness And Sensitivity 

If your gums are feeling very tender and sensitive to heat, cold, and the pressure of chewing, this could indicate early-stage gum disease. A little bit of minor sensitivity is nothing to worry about, but if you notice severe sensitivity that persists for more than a week or so, you should definitely see a dentist.

4. Gum Recession (Teeth Look Longer) 

In some cases, gum disease can cause your teeth to look longer due to gum recession. As gum disease gets worse, periodontal “pockets” form next to your teeth, causing the gums to recede and pull away from the teeth. Along with making your teeth look longer, gum recession also may contribute to gum and tooth sensitivity, and can lead to a higher risk of developing a tooth abscess (infection). 

5. Halitosis (Bad Breath) 

If you have bad breath that just won’t go away, this may be a sign of gum disease. As bacteria build up on your mouth, this can cause your breath to become smelly. Even if you use mouthwash and brush your teeth frequently, halitosis from gum disease may not go away. 

Recognize These Signs? See Dr. Robert Miller As Soon As You Can! 

At Sarasota Bay Dental, Dr. Robert Miller is here to provide you with the periodontal care you need to maintain a healthy mouth. If you recognize one or more of these signs, come to our office right away. The sooner you get treatment for gum disease, the more likely it is that its progression can be halted or completely reversed. Contact us online or give us a call at (941) 200-3723 to get the help you need.