Almost half of the population in the United States is dealing with some form of gum disease. This statistic may be surprising to you but gum disease is actually one of the most common reasons that a person will visit the dentist’s office this year. You may not even know that this is something you are dealing with although there are some very early warning signs. Let’s take a look at some of the earliest signs of gum disease so you know what to look for.

Bleeding Gums

If you properly brush your teeth and are not doing so too hard or brushing the gum area too much, you should never see blood when you spit into the sink after brushing. The same goes for the process of flossing. Regular flossing is very important because as food gets stuck in between your teeth, this can cause your gums to become inflamed. As bacteria multiplies in your mouth, the bleeding will only become worse. In addition to bleeding, you may also notice that your gums are red, swollen, painful, or sensitive. Tooth sensitivity occurs as your gums can recede due to the issue. Don’t slack on brushing or flossing because of the irritation and issues.

Gum Recession and Gum Pocketing

If you suspect that your teeth look like they are getting longer, or there are spaces up at the top by the gum area that are a different color then you may be experiencing gum recession. As gum disease progresses, the recession will only get worse. The unfortunate part of this symptom is that after your gums have receded there is not a whole lot that can be done in order to fix the problem. Grafting can occasionally be done in order to fix the issue but this can be expensive and require a lot of care.

Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity usually has another cause and with gum disease the culprit is usually gum recession. When gum tissue recedes this often exposes the root of the tooth or a nerve. When that space is touched (as it is normally protected by the gums) this can cause some very bad sensitivity to hot foods, cold foods, or just to the touch. Exposing this part of the tooth can cause some long term issues such as decay of the tooth itself and wearing down the surface of the root. Over time, if not addressed, these problems can involve some pretty intensive surgery that can get expensive. It is always best to address the problem early on when things can be fixed quickly.

If you are concerned that you may be experiencing some gum disease to a certain degree, then you will want to make sure that you bring these concerns up at your next dental visit. Regular, routine check ups and cleanings will ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy and if any issues begin to surface then you can find out what to do before things get too severe. If you would like more information about gum disease and proper oral health care, or would like to make an appointment, contact the office of Dr. Larry D. Molenda, D.D.S., located in San Marcos, TX.