Knowing what gingivitis is and being able to spot its early warning signs aren’t always the same thing. For many patients who develop it, gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease) may not cause significant symptoms at first. This is one reason why gum disease often becomes severe before it’s treated, and why many patients experience subsequent concerns like tooth loss as a result of it. Today, we examine a few of the potential warning signs that you have gingivitis and may benefit from periodontal cleaning (or scaling and root planing) to address it.
You see blood when you brush and floss
In theory, seeing blood when you brush and floss your teeth should be alarming. Your gums and oral tissues shouldn’t bleed, and if they do, it should be taken seriously. However, when gums bleed due to gingivitis, they don’t often hurt, and people can often mistake it for brushing or flossing too harshly. Ignoring the signs could allow your gingivitis to silently progress and cause even more damage to your gum tissues by the time you heed the warning and seek treatment.
You have bad breath that doesn’t go away
The development of gingivitis starts with the excessive buildup of oral bacteria along your gum line. The biofilm that oral bacteria create, called dental plaque, helps keep them steady as they cling to your teeth and along your gum line. Some of these bacteria may produce foul-smelling substances that lead to chronic bad breath, while others work on irritating and infecting your gum tissues. Chronic bad breath could be a sign that oral bacteria are gathering too much on your oral tissues, or it could be the result of the erosion of your gum tissues as gum disease progresses. If your bad breath doesn’t go away with good hygiene practices, then speak with your dentist to determine if it indicates gingivitis.
Your teeth seem to be getting longer
One of the best ways to catch the warning signs of gingivitis early is to pay close attention to the appearance of your gums every time you brush and floss your teeth. In addition to noticeable changes to the color and appearance of your gums, you might also notice things like your teeth seeming to get longer. Your permanent teeth won’t grow more once they’ve fully developed, and this may actually be the result of your gum tissues receding form your teeth. Gingivitis can irritate your gums enough to cause them to separate from your teeth roots, and as they do, more of your tooth’s structure will be exposed.
Learn if you need treatment for gingivitis
There are many different warning signs of gingivitis and gum disease, but they aren’t always obvious symptoms of concern. To learn more, or to schedule your appointment, call Healthy Smiles in Gary, IN, today at 219-938-2637.