Dental health is not just about healthy, cavity free teeth. It also involves having healthy gums. The area surrounding your gums is called the periodontium and forms the foundations of your teeth. Its destruction will eventually lead to the loosening of your teeth. So how do you know if your gums are healthy? Be on the lookout for the signs of gum disease listed below and make sure to check for them regularly. Dr. Nami Farkhondeh has worked in the fields of Periodontics and Implant Dentistry for over ten years and lists down easy to spot signs that you should be very observant of:
1. Bleeding Gums – Just like any other part of your body, bleeding is a sign of injury. Bleeding gums can be the result of inflammation of the periodontium due to the presence of plaque. It is this inflammation that can lead to bone loss around your teeth.
2. Receding Gums – This can be the result of severe brushing but can also be a symptom of gum disease, Dr. Farkhondeh points out that receding gums can be the result of the destruction of the attachment apparatus of the teeth.
3. Bad Breath – Where there is bacteria, there is infection. The presence of foul odour emitting bacteria can lead to bad breath. To control bad breath, make sure to maintain good oral hygiene. But if it persists despite this it might be best to see a dentist to check for the presence of gum disease.
4. Loosening of Teeth – The loosening or mobility of your teeth is a relatively late sign of gum disease and indicates that the destruction of the bone around your teeth, has progressed to a point where it cannot properly anchor your tooth in place. Dr. Farkhondeh explains that it is the bacteria in the plaque that attacks the gums and bone around your teeth and leads to their destruction. Smoking and poorly controlled diabetes can also aggravate the situation. As this process occurs it can lead to eventual tooth loss.
5. Pain – Dr. Farkhondeh warns that gum disease is usually a chronic condition and is not associated with pain which is why there is not always enough attention given to it. However, gum disease can become acute if not managed in a timely manner. Unfortunately, pain is a sign of a periodontal abscess and at this point it may be too late to save a tooth.
Gum disease can affect anyone and at any age. It is important to be on the lookout for the above symptoms, as their presence will lead you to further investigate their cause. It is very important to have a general dentist as they will assess the health of your gums in a routine examination and can help with their treatment and management with the help of their hygienist. If the situation is more advanced they will refer you to a Periodontist who has further specific training and experience in the field. Don’t leave it too late!
As a dentist, Dr Nami Farkhondeh has a practice focused on periodontal and dental implant care. He sees his patients at dental clinics in London, UK. Click here to see Nami’s clinic locations.
The slides used in the video about symptoms of gum disease below can be viewed here.