It might surprise you to learn that almost half of American adults have some form of gum disease. The dental professionals at Chattanooga Periodontics and Dental Implants, Dr. Charles Felts and Dr. Elizabeth Randall, are well-acquainted with this condition and fortunately, gum disease is very treatable, especially in its early stages. Here, you'll learn more about gum disease and how to spot it at home.
How does gum disease happen?
Just as bacteria-laden decay collects on the surface of the teeth to create cavities, it can also settle on and around the gums inside your mouth. These bacterial colonies begin to break down the sensitive tissue and can even reduce the strength of the gums, which can potentially lead to tooth loss or infection elsewhere in the body. The precursor to gum disease is known as gingivitis, while the active disease is called periodontitis.
What are the signs of gum disease?
Detecting gum disease in its earliest stages is vital to stopping the process quickly and efficiently. Here are some of the signs that may indicate that you have gingivitis.
- Bleeding gums. If you're seeing blood in the sink after each time you brush, you may be developing gum disease.
- Inflammation. Healthy gums are a medium-pink color that lay flat against the edges of the teeth. When your Chattanooga periodontists examine their patients for gum disease, one of the immediate signs is swollen, puffy gums that are bright red or dark in color.
- Pain. In addition to redness and bleeding, a sharp or achy pain when you brush or floss could be a sign that your gum disease is progressing. Any pain associated with your teeth and gums should be evaluated by your Chattanooga dentist immediately.
If you think you might be developing gum disease, time is of the essence for successful treatment. Contact Chattanooga Periodontics and Dental Implants in Chattanooga, Tennessee for an appointment with Dr. Felts or Dr. Randall. Call (423) 756-2450 today.