We all like to think that we take good care of our oral health by brushing regularly, visiting the dentist and avoiding harmful foods and drinks. However, the truth is that up to nine in every ten people have some gum disease. That figure may sound high, and surprising, but gum disease can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Gum disease occurs when the tissues that surround and support your teeth (the gums) become infected. The disease can cause all sorts of problems, including bleeding gums, bad breath and, in some cases, tooth loss. Below, we’ve rounded up some signs to look out for.
One of the most obvious and common signs of gum disease is bleeding gums. Your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth or when you bite into something hard, such as an apple or a piece of chocolate. If your gums are bleeding, try to avoid brushing too hard around the infected area, and instead use an antibacterial mouthwash that has been specifically designed for damaged or bleeding gums. Persistent rubbing of infected gums can lead to irritation, bleeding and, in some cases, cause teeth to become loose or fall out.
Teeth loose or separating
If your teeth become loose or separate from each other (for example, if you suddenly have a gap between your teeth), then this could be a sign of gum disease. Of course, children and young adults should not worry about teeth changing or separating, as this is part of puberty, but for adults, it can signal problems with your gums. In this case, gum disease has caused some of the bone in your gums which supports the teeth to disappear – and this should be treated as soon as possible to avoid further bone loss and the further separation of teeth.
Bad breath or bad taste
Another common symptom of gum disease is bad breath or a prolonged bad taste in your mouth, even after brushing your teeth. If your bad breath is persistent, then it could be caused by smelly gasses which are released by the bacteria that coat your teeth, gums and tongue, so you should try to clean between your teeth with ‘interdental’ brushes which clean between the teeth and reduce the chances of gum disease. It’s believed that brushing alone only cleans 60% of your mouth, so interdental brushes can help to keep teeth clean.
There are some obvious early warning signs when it comes to gum disease, so it’s important that you keep your mouth as clean as possible to prevent such disease. One way that you can reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in your body is to try coconut oil teeth whitening, but you should also make regular visits to the dentists and practice good oral health. If you are concerned that you have gum disease, contact a dental professional as soon as possible to reduce the chances of long-term damage to your teeth and gums.