At Robert J. Mysse Family Dentistry, we want our patients to have the tools to help their teeth and gums be healthy all year round, not just when they visit us! One of the primary impacts to your oral health is gum disease. We have rounded up a list of symptoms for you to see if you’re currently struggling with gum disease – without knowing it. If you have more questions don’t hesitate to call us at (512) 310-1500 to arrange an appointment.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease and periodontitis, is the inflammation of the gums that is caused by bacteria in plaque. Plaque is the colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If you don’t remove plaque with daily brushing and flossing, plaque will build up and the bacteria could move and eventually infect your gums. This could spread to your gums if you don’t take care of it quickly. If it spreads to your gums, then there is a strong possibility that you could lose your teeth.
Gum Disease Symptoms
This is a list of some of the symptoms of gum disease. Please note that all of these symptoms could also be caused by other factors. You should consult your dentist if you are uncertain.
- Gums are red, puffy or swollen. The gums might be tender, making it possible that your gums might bleed during brushing or flossing
- It can also change the way your teeth fit together when you bite – your bite shouldn’t move too much especially if you’re an adult.
- Receding gums – making your teeth look longer
- Gums that have separated, or pulled away, from your teeth, creating a pocket
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- If you wear partial dentures you might notice that they fit differently than usual.
- Pus between gums or teeth
- White spots or plaques on the gums
How is Gum Disease Diagnosed?
Your dentist can officially diagnose gum disease in several ways. First, they can measure the gums using a periodontal probe. They will be checking the depths of the pockets of all your teeth in the mouth. They will also take x-rays that will show the level of underlying bone and to make sure you haven’t lost any bone to gum disease. If you have any teeth that have become overly sensitive, your dentist will examine these to look for receding gums. And, of course, the dentist will also check the gums themselves, looking for red, swollen, or bleeding gums.
One of the best things you can do if you can’t go to the dentist right away is making sure you’re properly brushing and flossing your teeth.
If you have good oral health, the plaque is much less likely to build up. Something else you can do is make a warm sea salt solution – salt water will reduce swollen gums and draw the infection out! Add this rinse to your brushing routine for the best results.You should also gargle with a mouthwash like Listerine to reduce plaque and gingivitis. You can also eat more foods that are rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin D like oranges and grapes. Finally, if you’re using tobacco products – STOP! That can irreparably damage your teeth and gums.
Only A Professional…
However, although all the above DIY solutions can help you mitigate plaque and potential gum disease, only a professional cleaning by your dentist or hygienist can remove plaque that has built up and hardened into tartar. During your cleaning, the dentist or hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth to remove the tartar above and below the gumline. In cases that are worse than normal, a root planing procedure may have to happen in order for your oral health to become better. The root planing process, also known as deep cleaning, involves intense removing of plaque, the products of plaque, and smooths the irregularities on the roots of your teeth. After the procedure, it will become more difficult for plaque to deposit onto your teeth.
So call us for an appointment! We can clean your teeth so you won’t have any problems with gum disease. Call Robert J. Mysse Family Dentistry at (512) 310-1500 to arrange an appointment to help you with deal with any gum disease symptoms.