If you have ever been worried that you might have gum disease—you are probably very reasonable for wondering about that. After all, the health of our teeth and gums says a lot about our health overall. Not to mention, gum disease affects almost half of the entire U.S. population over 18 years of age. That is roughly 64.5 million people with gum disease—so don’t fret, you’re not paranoid. In fact, it is better to be sensitive to the signs of gum disease than to ignore it as if it could never happen to you.
What Is Your Risk Level?
So, are you actually at risk? How do you tell?
Gum disease carries serious repercussions for your dental health. It’s a chronic condition that can escalate very quickly in different people. In the most extreme cases, it results in infected teeth that need to be removed by a local Houston dentist.
Gum disease is not just a sign of bad oral hygiene, but rather can be a sign of many other issues going on in your body. If you think you might have gum disease, the best course of action is to book an appointment with your preferred Houston dentist right away. These four signs can be a sure sign of gum disease and are worth looking into rather than just brushing off as coincidence.
Four Signs Of Gum Disease
When you brush and floss, your gums should not bleed. Now, if you aren’t a regular flosser, (you should be!) bacteria can build up beneath the gums and cause them to bleed whenever you brush. This can spread further and exacerbate the bleeding when brushing your gums. Swelling of the gums, redness or soreness of the gums might accompany the bleeding as well. Your teeth may also become sensitive as a result of gum recession due to the infection within the gums.
Any Houston dentist would agree that it’s common for patients to ask if they should stop flossing when their gums are bleeding. The problem with that thoughis that without flossing, the plaque that is responsible for gingivitis will break downthe fibers that attach your gums to your teeth.
When your gums bleed you need to consider much more than the pain or discomfort resulting from the bleeding. When your gums bleed, the bigger issue is that it’s an open gateway for harmful bacteria in your mouth to enter the bloodstream and cause more problems.
These bacteria bond with blood platelets cause clots, which restricts blood flow to the heart and can lead to a stroke or heart attack. If that happens, it leads to a whole host of health problems, when it all could’ve been avoided with proper attention to oral health.
If your gums are bleeding, don’t hesitate to book a visit with a Houston dentist right away—better to be safe than sorry.
Gum Recession or Pocketing
Are you getting a little long in the tooth? We mean that literally— does it seem like your teeth are getting longer?
When teeth appear to be longer it is actually the gums surrounding them receding. Teeth stay the same length once your permanents are in, so that gum recession—it’s a sign of gum disease progression.
When this recession happens, the depth of gum tissue around your teeth increases. As gum disease progresses this tissue, also called gum pockets becomes too deep. This makes it difficult for food and debris to be removed and accelerates the gum disease.
We used the euphemism “long in the tooth” purposefully because, while it is a saying to describe aging, gum recession is also seen as a normal sign of aging by many people. However, there is nothing normal about gum recession, and you can prevent it
Gum recession can also result in sensitive teeth. Gum tissue that is suffering from chronic inflammation exposes the root surface of your tooth. The exposed root makes the tooth more vulnerable to decay, abfraction(wearing down of the root surface) lead to tooth sensitivity. In these cases, sensitivity can be a sign of gum disease. Chronically inflamed gum tissue is exposing the root surface of the tooth. This exposed root makes the tooth more susceptible to decay, abfraction(wear in the root surface), tooth sensitivity, and eventually loss of the tooth.
You notice tooth sensitivity mostly when consuming cold or hot beverages or foods. It may start out as a slight discomfort, but as it progresses it becomes very painful. It should be examined by your local Houston dentist as soon as you first notice it, not when it’s already unbearable.
High Blood Sugar
If you have high blood sugar, you should definitely get tested for type 2 diabetes as you may have or be at risk for the common but serious disease. The connection between type 2 diabetes and gum disease goes both ways. People that suffer from type 2 diabetes face a higher risk of gum disease that escalates much faster than people without. This is why is it important to see if you indeed have type 2 diabetes or not.
Not sure if your sugar is high? Most pharmacy’s carry very inexpensive blood glucose monitors, but signs of high blood sugar include:
- Increased thirst
- Mental fog or trouble focusing
- Blurred or impaired vision
- Frequent urination
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Unexplained weight loss
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to see your doctor as soon as possible to be tested for type 2 diabetes.
On that note, if you have also been diagnosed with gum disease by your Houston dentist, you should check your blood sugar as well as type 2 diabetes. The two diseases are closely related to general inflammation in the body.
Don’t Ignore The Signs
The worst thing you can do if you suspect you may have gum disease is inaction. Failing to book an examination with a local Houston dentist such as Comprehensive Dental Group, could be the mistake that allows this to escalate.
Don’t wait for the symptoms to get worse, call one of our consultants today and schedule a dental exam and have your gums looked at so we can determine a course of corrective action.