Silent signs of gum disease
Periodontitis (better known as gum disease) is what happens when gingivitis (better known as inflamed gums) is untreated. That’s why it’s important to recognise the early signs of gum disease. Dentists urge people to look out for the following symptoms.
Red or swollen gums
Inflammation in the form of red, puffy, or tender gums (gingivitis) could be a sign of periodontal disease or gum disease. “Inflammation or discomfort is caused by bacteria that accumulate around the teeth and proliferates when it is not mechanically removed by flossing, brushing, and your six-month dental cleaning appointment,” says prosthodontist, Dr Mazen Natour. It’s important to treat it so it doesn’t advance to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease that causes gums to recede from teeth and form pockets that can become infected.
Blood in the sink
If you spit out blood after brushing and swishing, take note. “Bleeding after tooth brushing is a big sign and can signal gingivitis,” says Dr Lance Vernon. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that causes bleeding gums, especially after brushing or eating. Luckily, it’s usually reversed with daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular cleanings by a dentist.
Find out what dentists always do to prevent tooth decay here.