Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

Updated on August 24, 2021

The importance of having healthy teeth should never be overlooked. Your teeth are like a window to your overall well being which is why it is crucial that you follow good oral hygiene in order to prevent the development of various medical conditions.

One such condition that is often regarded as the most common to occur in people is gum disease. This is a bacterial infection that mainly affects the gums and sometimes the bones surrounding the teeth. It is usually preceded by gum irritation which is also known as gingivitis. If you don’t take proper measures to inhibit the progression of such inflammation, there is a great possibility that you will be suffering from tooth loss.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can prevent this from happening and watching out for the first signs is the best way to start. 

Here are some of the most common symptoms of gum disease you should be on the lookout for.

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Swollen and bleeding gums

Your gums cover a good portion of your teeth and they should always be a light red color. However, if you start experiencing pain when flossing or brushing your teeth, that simply means that your gums are heavily infected. Dark red and swollen gums are considered the first indicators that you are suffering from gum disease.

Another sign of periodontitis (gum infection) you should look out for is bleeding gums. This happens because your gum line is sensitive and weakened by the infection, so it causes your gums to bleed every time you wash your teeth.

Gum recession

Gum recession is a very common dental problem that is also a major cause of gum disease. The problem with this health issue is that most people don’t realize they are suffering from it because it occurs gradually. It usually starts by increasing tooth sensitivity or by separating the gum from the tooth while creating a pocket and making the tooth seem longer.

If you notice this happening, then that means your gums are heavily affected by a bacterial infection. The bacteria destroy the gum tissues that support the bone that hold your teeth in place.

Bad breath

Another very common sign of periodontal disease is bad breath. If you have persistent bad taste in your mouth, then there is a buildup of plaque on the teeth.

Generally speaking, your mouth is a warm and wet home for millions of bacteria. They feed on the plaque which is formed as a result of gum disease. It serves as a breeding ground and food for the bacteria which cause the gum tissue to rot and smell over time.

If you overlook this sign, then you may be damaging your gums and even your jawbone.

Loose teeth

Loose or shifting teeth are another major cause of gum disease, especially in older adults. It occurs when a bacterial infection affects the gums and destroys the gum tissues and underlying bone. As a result, the tooth begins to lose support and slowly separates from the gums and bone. This makes eating, chewing, or handling food in general, more difficult and can lead to further tooth loosening.

If you leave this untreated, the gum disease can easily progress and lead to bone deterioration and your teeth will no longer receive the support they need.

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Photo by Diana Polekhina from Unsplash

Helpful tips to prevent gum disease

While performing regular dental checkups is the best way to prevent gum disease, there are other methods that can also help.

The most important one is to follow proper oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing them to remove any food particles or plaque that may have formed between the teeth and under the gum line.

You should also consider making a few lifestyle changes that can contribute to gum disease. Some prominent ones include no smoking, maintaining a highly nutritious and balanced diet and avoiding clenching and grinding your teeth. 

Final thoughts

Having healthy teeth and gums is crucial for staying healthy at all times. Following good oral hygiene will prevent the occurrence of gum disease which can lead to severe consequences on your mouth if left untreated.

Besides this, healthy gums will also protect you from developing common chronic diseases that can affect your overall well-being.

In case you aren’t sure about the causes, signs and preventive measures of gum disease, be sure to refer back to our guide and improve your oral health.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.