If you don't visit the dentist at least twice a year, you could be setting yourself up for gum disease and premature tooth loss. Unfortunately, that means that dentures could be in your future. If you think you're too young for dentures, you might be wrong. In fact, studies show that about 69% of all Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 have lost at least one tooth. The leading cause of premature tooth loss is gum disease. To help keep your teeth and gums healthy, and prevent premature tooth loss, here are some warning signs of gum disease that you should be aware of.
Swollen or Bleeding Gums
Your gums are the first place you'll notice the early signs of gum disease. If you pay attention to your gums, you can identify the problem before you experience more significant damage. Before you brush your teeth, take a look at your gums. If they're red, or swollen, you might be experiencing the beginning stages of gum disease. Next, brush and floss your teeth. If your toothbrush, or floss is covered with blood, this is a sure sign that you need to speak to your dentist as soon as possible.
Loose or Shifting Teeth
After your gums have been affected for a while, you'll start developing pockets of bacteria around the base of the roots. Once the pockets develop, your teeth will no longer fit properly. At this stage, you'll start noticing that your teeth are getting loose. You might also notice that your teeth are shifting, which means you'll start seeing gaps between your teeth, or that existing gaps are getting larger.
Foul Mouth Odors
In the advanced stages of gum disease, you'll start noticing foul odors coming from your mouth. Those odors are caused by the bacteria that's building up in the pockets around your roots. At this point, if you pressed on your gums, you might see a yellowish discharge oozing out from around the base of your teeth. That discharge is pus caused by the infection that's raging in your gums. At this point, you should see your dentist immediately.
If you're not caring for your teeth, you're at risk for developing gum disease. To prevent premature tooth loss, watch for the warning signs described here. Be sure to schedule an appointment with clinics like Family 1st Dental as soon as possible. With proper treatment, your dentist can reverse the harmful effects of gum disease.