If your teeth appear healthy to you, it might surprise you to learn that you have gum disease. In its early stages, gum disease may show a few subtle signs, which is why some individuals do not realize that they have it. The early signs of gum disease are referred to as gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. Symptoms vary, but you might notice bleeding gums or tender gums. The bleeding may not be visually seen coming from your gums. It is possible to notice it mixed in with toothpaste when you spit. A pink tinge mixture is indicative that you are bleeding in your mouth.
The exact cause of mouth bleeding can be determined by a dentist. There are other things that can cause gums to bleed, such as brushing your teeth too hard. Individuals who practice good oral hygiene habits and routinely go to dentists for examinations can reduce their chances of getting gum disease. Certain circumstances can make individuals more susceptible to getting gum disease. The following are a few examples of things that can put you in a high-risk group for developing gum disease.
Use of Tobacco Products
You likely know that smoking tobacco is a health risk. It has been linked to cancer and other health conditions. Other forms of tobacco usage can also be harmful. Tobacco, in all forms that enter the mouth, can contribute to ideal conditions for gum disease. If you smoke cigarettes, cigars, or chew tobacco, it is a good idea to discuss a cessation plan with your dentist or primary care physician. Your dentist could prescribe chewing gum that is designed to reduce cravings and wean you off of tobacco products.
If you have certain health conditions, you might have a weaker immune system. Gum disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth. In a healthy individual, the body can attempt to combat the bacteria and reduce their number. However, individuals with compromised immune systems might not be able to keep the bacteria count at a healthy level. These individuals might require more frequent dental exams to detect gum disease in early stages and prevent it from advancing. Diabetics can also face challenges protecting their gums against gum disease due to healing issues and bacteria potentially entering through breaks in the gum tissue. Careful monitoring of health conditions and oral health can benefit these individuals.
A dentist is a good resource to use to understand the importance of early detection of gum disease. It is treatable in its early stages, but advanced gum disease may require aggressive treatments or extractions to preserve overall health. Contact a local dentist to learn more.