A survey conducted on dental patients found that as many as 70% of all adult patients believe that the leading cause of tooth loss in adults is caused by tooth decay. However, in the experience of many dental surgeries, this is not the case. as a result, many dental teams are eager to educate the public about gum disease which is, without a doubt, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Caused by an excess of plaque in the mouth, gum disease can cause a myriad of symptoms which, if left untreated, can result in the loss of bone in the jaw which can destabilise teeth and cause them to fall out. Yikes!
But what are some of the most common symptoms that you may experience if you have gum disease? Here, a dentist Bondi Junction answers that question. Enjoy.
Bleeding when brushing
Many dental patients need supervision when brushing (yes even as adults!) as some may be brushing too enthusiastically which may, in turn, cause their gums to bleed. But if you are using a soft-bristled brush and are still experiencing bleeding when brushing, or notice blood when you spit, this is one of the earliest times of gum disease. At this stage, your dental team may recommend a scale and polish and may also be able to prescribe you a chlorhexidine mouthwash or fluoride toothpaste.
Receding gum line
A receding gum line is also a sign that all is not well with your gums. And it is usually caused by plaque being caught underneath the gum (which is inflamed) and is harder to reach and remove with a standard toothbrush. Once again, a scale and polish at your local dental surgery can help with this, but in extreme cases of gum recession, a gum graft may be required to improve the aesthetic and functionality of the gum line.
If you experience discomfort along your gums when you are brushing or eating food, this is another indicator that you may have early-stage gum disease. And it is due to the immune system; when you have too much plaque on your gums or around your teeth, your immune system responds by creating inflammation which causes discomfort when they are touched. If you notice a stinging sensation, or a general feeling of bruising when you are eating food, then it is time to book yourself in for a check-up with your dental team to assess if you have gum disease.
Inflammation typically looks red and the gums themselves can begin to grow over the crown of the teeth (the part of the tooth that is visible), making it look smaller. If you notice that your teeth seem to be shrinking or that your gum line is getting larger or redder, irrespective of brushing, then you need to see your dental team urgently.
Inflamed gums are often softer than healthier gums and if you are suffering from gum disease, you may notice that certain parts of your gum or your entire gum line have a spongy texture when touched. If this is the case, you need to see a hygienist and a dental professional very soon to discuss treatment options.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.