Your body is pretty adept at communicating when there’s a problem; swelling, fevers, aches, and pains are all signals that something is wrong. If your knee is swollen and painful, you know that it needs medical attention, so why wouldn’t you seek help for the same symptoms with your gums? The truth is, brushing and flossing shouldn’t hurt. If you experience pain during your daily dental care routine, it’s time to listen to what your gums are telling you: if you’re not already there, you’re dangerously close to experiencing gum disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease occurs when bacteria collects below the gum line and infects the structures that support your teeth — including your jaw bone. If untreated, the bacteria can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, allowing your teeth to become loose, and eventually, fall out. As if tooth loss isn’t scary enough, gum disease is also closely linked with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory conditions. So while tender gums may not seem like a big deal, they’re your first indication that something is wrong and you need to see the dentist.
The Most Common Signs of Gum Disease
In addition to swollen, tender gums, there are other indicators of gum disease. These include:
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- The gums visibly pulling away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath (caused by the underlying infection)
- Loose or shifting teeth
The good news is that if you address these symptoms as soon as the present, you may be able prevent the condition from becoming worse.
Ask a Professional
Your gums may look perfectly normal to you, and you may be diligent about following a daily dental health care routine, but only a professional can tell for sure if you’re at risk for gum disease. This is one of many reasons that you should see your dentist at least every six months. Not only do professional cleanings help prevent bacteria from harming your teeth and gums, but a thorough exam allows your dentist to intervene before tooth loss or other associated health problems occur.
If you live in or near Boca Raton, let the friendly team at Dental Concepts help you keep your teeth where they belong: firmly planted in your smile. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.