How do I know if I have gum disease?
Bleeding from the gums. You might notice this when you are brushing or flossing. When the gumdisease is severe, gum bleeding may occur during eating or with gentle pressure. Therefore, gum bleeding should not be ignored!
Shaky teeth. If your tooth or teeth are mobile, you could have periodontitis, which destroys the bone around the tooth or teeth. If too much of the bone is lost, the tooth will become shaky. You might feel or even see that the teeth have moved or feel weaker on biting. The sooner gum disease is detected and treated, the better the chances of controlling the disease, and hence keeping the teeth and enjoying a decent meal.
Red or purple coloured gums and gum swelling. Healthy gums are pink and firm. Unhealthy gums usually have a darker colour and look red or purple. Gum swelling usually means there is an infection in the area. Sometimes there may be pus in the swelling. The cause of the infection can be associated with the tooth, gums or both. Not having noticeable gum swelling does not mean you do not have gum disease.
Shrinking gums, longer teeth, increased spaces between teeth and increased tooth sensitivity. As gum disease progresses, the bone supporting the tooth will reduce leading to shrinkage or recession of the gums. This will result in longer looking teeth and triangular spaces between teeth. As more of the teeth are exposed the teeth may also be more sensitive to cold, very sweet, and sour foods.
Bad smell and taste in the mouth. Bad smell and taste in the mouth can be subjective observations. If present, it can be due to dental infections like tooth decay and/or gum disease.