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Warning Signs of Gum Disease: How to Recognize When You Need Help

a woman looking at her teeth in a hand held mirror

We hate to break it to you: even if your teeth feel fine right now, there’s a 70% chance you’re going to have gum disease at some point in your life. 32% of Canadians have gum disease right now! Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) is one of the most common dental problems out there, and if it’s left unchecked, it can have severe consequences.

Gum disease takes off when the plaque on your teeth (ordinarily removed by brushing, flossing, and regular visits to your dentist) has the chance to harden into tartar at or below the gum line. Think of tartar as an armoured tank with tons of bacteria on the inside. Because it’s so hard, you can’t get it off at home, and the longer it stays attached, the more time the bacteria have to get to work destroying your gum tissues. If the infection progresses deep enough, you could actually lose teeth!

Knowing how to recognize the warning signs of gum disease is the best way to make sure you can get yourself to a dentist as quickly as possible. Gum disease is treatable, but the earlier you catch it, the better. Today, we’ll teach you how to listen to what your gums are telling you.

Your gums are swollen, red, or bleeding.

This is one of the easiest ways to tell that you’ve got gum disease. Even if your teeth don’t hurt, redness, swelling, and bleeding (especially when you’re brushing or flossing) is an indication that inflammation may have set in. This is one of the first stages of gum disease, so when you notice it, book an appointment with your dentist office in Barrie immediately to help prevent it from progressing any further.

Your teeth look longer than usual.

This might sound a little weird, but it’s true. Does there seem to be more of your teeth than you’re used to seeing? Do they look larger or longer to you? Your teeth haven’t changed, but your gums have. Gum recession happens when your gums start pulling away from the teeth they’re attached to. This is also a sign that your bone may be breaking down, so, again, if you notice that there’s more of your teeth than there used to be, it’s time to call your dentist.

Your breath stinks.

We’re all used to bad breath after eating garlic or onions, but if your breath stinks all day, every day, there’s a good chance that gum disease bacteria are to blame. You might also notice this as a persistent bad taste in your mouth. The nastiness is caused by the toxins that the bacteria produce, which, in addition to making your breath reek, irritates your gums. Instead of gargling mouthwash from sunrise to sunset, make an appointment at a dentist office in Barrie.

Your teeth are shifting or wiggly.

Whoa, what was that? You just bit into your sandwich, and your teeth…wiggled? No, you didn’t imagine it. Gum disease attacks the bone in your jaw, and as it gets weaker, your teeth are more prone to move around. They might even shift so far that your teeth don’t line up correctly when you’re speaking or eating, which means you run a greater risk of damaging your teeth or putting undue pressure on your jaw joints. To get your bone back to where it should be, you’ll need professional dental services.

It’s time to visit a dentist office.

Barrie is home to Dr. Elston Wong Dentistry, where you can always expect great dental services and excellent customer care. From preventive care to prosthodontic replacement of missing teeth, we’re the dental office that does it all. We’re serious about the quality of our work, and our goal is to make sure you understand every step of what we recommend for your oral health.

For more information on our dental services or our dentist office in Barrie, give us a call at (705) 721-1143. You can also contact us online with any questions or to request an appointment.

Dr. Elston Wong Portrait

About Dr. Elston Wong

Dr. Elston Wong completed his dental degree at The University of Toronto in 1999 before arriving in Barrie in 2002. After graduating, he continued to learn everything he could about dentistry. Now he has taken the time to share important information for anyone to read.

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