Worried you may have gum disease? 6 signs to watch out for

  • IANS, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 29, 2016 16:41 IST
People usually don’t show signs of gum disease. But red and swollen gums, sensitivity of teeth and receding gum line and appearance of slightly elongated teeth might hold the answers to your doubts, say experts. (Shutterstock)

Worried that you may have gum disease? Can gum disease cause health problems beyond the mouth?

People usually don’t show signs of gum disease. But red and swollen gums, sensitivity of teeth and receding gum line and appearance of slightly elongated teeth might hold the answers to your doubts, says Kamlesh Desai, a renowned senior aesthetics dentist.

Read: Brushing your teeth twice a day will also mean a healthier heart

According to Dr Max A Listgarten of deardoctor.com, the first signs of periodontal disease usually begin with gingivitis; the gums appear reddened at the margins, slightly swollen and bleed when gently provoked by tooth brushing or flossing. It is often thought that brushing too hard causes bleeding gums — however, bleeding from the gum tissues is not normal and should be taken as a warning sign.

Experts list down some warning signs to watch out for:

1 Bleeding: The first tell-tale sign of gum disease is the presence of blood on your toothbrush. If you happen to spot blood during and after brushing your teeth or while eating food, be cautious. Unexplained bleeding of the gums is most certainly the sign of gum disease and should not be ignored as it could be the first sign of a more serious underlying condition as well.

Oil Pulling is US actor Shailene Woodley’s secret to fresh breath, healthy gums. Said to help improve gum health, whiten teeth and generally draw toxins from the body - Oil Pulling is the process of swilling about a teaspoon of coconut oil around the mouth for 20 minutes before spitting it all out into a bin - not the sink. You’ll block it. (Agencies)

2 Red and swollen gums: Periodontal infection causes gums to swell and become tender. These sore and swollen gums can be extremely painful and cause great discomfort. Red, swollen and puffy-looking gums are a dead giveaway of gum disease.

3 Sensitivity of teeth: The first thought that comes to mind when teeth start getting sensitive is that tooth decay could be the cause and you start avoiding foodstuff that aggravate this sensitivity. Chances are that the sensitivity has been caused due to the onset of gum disease and not tooth decay and needs more care than just avoiding certain foods and beverages.

4 Bad breath: Generally, people who have this hugely embarrassing condition avoid particular foodstuffs thinking they can do away with bad breath. But, the solution is not as simple and the cause is often deep rooted. Presence of plaque, bacteria and decomposing food particles present in the mouth result in gum diseases that are responsible for Halitosis, also known as bad breath.

Read: Just 10 minutes of chewing gum can remove 100 million bacteria from your mouth

5 Receding gum line and appearance of slightly elongated teeth: A strong indicator of periodontal disease is recession of the gums where the margin of the gum tissue pulls back, exposing more of the tooth or the tooth’s root. This is due to the bacterial gum infection that destroys the gum tissue. Additionally, recession of the gums can make your teeth appear to be ‘longer.’ If you notice that your teeth look longer all of a sudden, it could be a muted sign of the underlying gum disease.

6 Loose teeth: Destruction of the bone and gum tissue due to periodontal disease results in loose and shifting teeth. As the tissue deteriorates, there is a high chance of teeth becoming more loosely attached. And, there are big gaps between the teeth due to the shifting .

If one begins to notice any of these signs, the first step would be to switch to an effective gum care toothpaste with zinc citrate. Zinc Citrate protects gum and also helps reduce gum bleeding.

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