Taking care of your teeth is crucial so you don't lose them. It is common knowledge that you have to brush and floss every day, but what happens if you don't do that? One thing that can happen is you develop gum disease. Gum disease has several different symptoms that you need to be on the lookout for. Here are three signs that could mean you have gum disease.
1. Receding gums if you're under 40
If you have noticed that your gums seem to be shrinking or pulling away from your teeth, you could have gum disease. While it is normal to have some gum shrinkage after age 40 or so, it is definitely not a good sign when you are younger. As soon as you notice that your gums have begun receding, you need to make an appointment with your dentist for treatment.
If it is gum disease that has caused your gum recession, then your dentist will want to treat the gum disease as well as the recession issue. If you only have a mild case of gum recession, the dentist can usually treat it with scaling and planing of the tooth and the root. However, if you already have bone loss, the dentist will recommend gum surgery for treatment.
2. Gums that bleed very easily
Bleeding gums can occur for various non-dental related conditions or from brushing your teeth too hard. However, if you regularly have blood on your toothbrush no matter how lightly you brush your teeth, you could have gum disease. Gum disease can make your gums more prone to bleeding when you brush them because it makes your gums more sensitive.
If you notice blood on a regular basis after you brush your teeth, you need to make an appointment with your dentist immediately. If the dentist says you don't have gum disease and you know that you haven't been brushing too hard, you should make an appointment with your regular physician to determine if another health condition is causing your bleeding gums.
3. Chronic bad breath
Having bad breath all the time can not only be embarrassing, it can also be a symptom of gum disease. Since gum disease results from bacteria being left on and between the teeth when you don't brush and floss, it is easy to see why it causes chronic bad breath.
Of course, some people have bad breath all the time because they eat foods containing things like onions or garlic. You could also have any number of other issues going on if you have chronic bad breath. However, if you don't eat a lot of stinky foods and you find that your breath has a foul smell more often than not, you should contact your dentist to have your teeth and gums evaluated.
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