Gum disease in Melbourne is one of our area’s most devastating and widespread health problems. Left untreated, it can cause not only tooth decay, but a variety of other illnesses. It can even spread from one person. It’s important for all of us to know the warning signs of gum disease so we know when to seek help.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Common warning signs that you may have gum disease include:
- Red, swollen, or sensitive gums. While these problems can have many causes, gum disease is a likely suspect.
- Pain when chewing. The inflammation that comes with gum disease can make enjoying even a simple meal almost impossible.
- Loose or sensitive teeth. If you sense pain or irritation in your teeth, or if they feel loose, then you may have gum disease.
- Receding gums or teeth that appear to grow longer. As gums become infected, they draw away from the teeth, exposing more of the underlying enamel.
- Bleeding after brushing or flossing. While very small amounts of bleeding can sometimes be normal, the problem almost usually goes away within a short time. You should always suspect gum disease if you notice blood in your saliva or rinse water.
- Bad breath. Of course, all of us have a little halitosis every now and then. But, when it persists over a period of time, then it’s time to consider the possibility of gum disease.
How Gum Disease Progresses
The progression of gum disease usually follows this pattern:
- The development of filmy teeth plaque. Over time, this hardens into tartar, a substance that requires professional care to remove.
- Red, swollen or irritated gums. This condition is often aggravated by eating, drinking, or even brushing and flossing.
- Gaps forming between the teeth and gums. At this point, the teeth usually begin to loosen.
If gum disease continues to progress, then harmful bacteria will cause not only tooth loss, but bone loss as well, a problem that requires reconstructive surgery to remedy.
The good news is that gum disease can usually be stopped.Taking the following precautions is crucial:
- Regular brushing and flossing. This will help to control the plaque that, left unremoved, can turn into tartar.
- Limiting consumption of sweets and starchy foods. Sugar gives harmful bacteria the raw fuel it needs to erode teeth, gums, and bone tissue.
- Avoiding tobacco products, alcohol and illicit drugs. Each of these products can damage your teeth’s enamel.
- Seeing a dentist in Melbourne right away. While self-care can help to manage the symptoms of gum disease, stopping the condition and reversing its effects requires professional treatment.
Gum disease is too serious to ignore. Make an appointment with your dentist right away if you suspect you’re suffering from this dangerous condition. Prompt treatment can prevent tooth loss and help you to regain your smile.
About the Author
Dr. Richardson has been practicing dentistry for over 25 years. He earned his DDS degree from West Virginia University and has completed advanced training in many aspects of general, cosmetic and restorative dentistry. You can reach his office online or by calling (321) 723-3477.