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  • Writer's pictureDr. Maryam Motlagh, D.M.D


When you hear the words “gum disease,” it’s easy to freeze up and become worried. This gum infection, also called “periodontitis,” typically results from a bacterial infection and can lead to various dental problems, including tooth loss.

Periodontitis risk factors can include poor oral hygiene, hormonal changes, smoking, and insufficient nutrition, among many others. As the infection progresses, it can lead to multiple issues concerning your teeth and gums.

There are many gum disease signs to watch out for. Although this isn’t an exhaustive list, it’s important to treat these dental conditions with a great deal of care. Below are some of the most common warning signs of gum disease.

Swollen Gums

First and foremost, one of the most noticeable warning signs of gum disease is red, swollen-looking gums. If your gums feel tender or appear puffy, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist. Any kind of dental pain — no matter how mild or severe — is cause for concern and should be addressed as soon as possible. When you catch the disease in an early stage, you can prevent the disease from worsening and causing more problems for your oral health down the line.

Receding Gums

When discussing gum disease signs, it’s impossible not to mention receding gums. As your immune system attempts to fight against the infection, your gum line can recede in the process.

When your gums start pulling back from your teeth, this can make your teeth appear longer than usual. However, this isn’t the only complication associated with gum recession. If you have receding gums, this particular concern can eventually lead to tooth loss as the disease progresses.

Bleeding Gums

If you have bleeding gums or notice bleeding while brushing and flossing your teeth, get in touch with your dentist. This problem can often go hand-in-hand with swollen or receding gums. When plaque builds up along the gum line, this can result in gingivitis or, potentially, periodontitis.

Of course, gum disease isn’t the only thing that can lead to bleeding gums. If you notice blood when you brush your teeth, you could be brushing too hard. If you’ve started flossing after not having flossed for a long time, this can also lead to gum irritation and bleeding. Although there are many potential causes of this problem, it’s always a good idea to check in with your dentist, as this can be one of the most noteworthy gum disease signs.

Bad Breath

Do you have bad breath even after brushing your teeth? Bad breath can have many causes, including poor oral hygiene and inadequate flossing. However, if the problem never goes away, it’s important to know that this is one of the most common warning signs of gum disease. Instead of masking the problem with gum and mouthwash, reach out to your dentist.

Loose Teeth

Finally, it’s crucial to mention that a loose tooth is also known to be one of the most common warning signs of gum disease. Loose teeth and gum tissue damage are cause for concern, but as the disease progresses, it can also lead to tooth loss — as well as jawbone damage and bone loss.

Loose teeth and tooth loss usually occur when the disease has surpassed its early stages. All-in-all, you’re more likely to experience these concerns when the disease has developed into the moderate and advanced stages.

Don’t Wait to Contact Your Dentist

Now that you know the most common gum disease signs, it’s time to make a plan to either prevent or address it. Periodontitis can be prevented with regular dental cleanings, brushing, and flossing. When you prioritize your oral health, you can potentially avoid dental-related problems down the line, including gum issues.

Gingivitis and periodontal gum disease can be treated in several different ways, including deep cleanings performed by an experienced dentist. During one of these cleanings, the dentist removes plaque from the tooth roots with a method referred to as “scaling.”

As a leading source for everything from general dentistry to aesthetic restorative and implant dentistry in the Northwest, Aesthetic Smiles is proud to serve the residents of Portland, Oregon, and beyond. Our team places a focus on your satisfaction and comfort while helping you achieve a healthy, bright smile.

Are you looking for a professional dentistry practice that offers gum disease treatment, teeth whitening, jaw aligners, and more? Contact us today to see what our dentistry practice can do for you!

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