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Did you know that it’s just as important to take good care of your gums as it is to take good care of your teeth? Your teeth may be the focus of your dental care routine because they are the first thing you notice when you smile, but your gums deserve lots of attention too. Here are 5 symptoms of gum disease so you know what signs to watch out for and what you can do to keep your gums healthy and happy.

1. Tender or Bleeding Gums

Tenderness and bleeding are often the first symptoms of gum disease that people notice, typically when they are flossing. The sight of blood can be alarming, but it’s not typically the sign of a serious condition, although it shouldn’t be ignored. If your gums bleed or you experience discomfort when you floss, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist about how you can improve your gum health.

2. Red or Swollen Gums

Gums that are red and puffy or swollen are also one of the most common signs of gum disease, but many people don’t notice it as abnormal if they’ve had gum disease for a while. That’s why it’s important to have regular exams done by a dentist, typically every 6 months, so they can measure the gum tissue around each tooth to ensure that any gum disease doesn’t have a chance to progress beyond the early stages that are easily treatable.

3. Persistent Bad Breath

Bad breath that doesn’t go away can be another sign of gum disease. If you’re catching yourself feeling the need to suck on mints or chew gum often to freshen your breath, it’s best to get checked by a dentist as soon as possible. Bad breath is typically caused by bacteria which can lead to cavities and your dentist can help you figure out the source of the issue or prescribe a special mouthwash to help if needed.

4. Sensitive Teeth

Sensitivity to hot or cold foods or soreness when you chew are also symptoms of gum disease. They can be symptoms of a cavity or tooth decay as well, but only a dentist can determine the source of your discomfort. Either way, your teeth should not be experiencing discomfort, so it’s important to get it checked out right away.

5. Receding Gums

If you notice that your teeth appear longer or larger than normal or that the roots seem to be visible, you may be experiencing receding gums. Receding gums is another sign of gum disease, typically when it’s more advanced, so it’s a symptom that should never be ignored because it can expose the more vulnerable parts of your teeth to bacteria which could lead to serious decay or infection.

Talking to Your Dentist About Gum Disease

Many people think a lot about the health of their teeth, but gum health can slip their minds. Next time you see your dentist, tell them any concerns or questions you might have about your gums or simply ask what you can do to improve your gum health. They’ll be pleased to hear that you are thinking about your gum health and will be happy to provide helpful tips to help you keep your gums in top shape!

Call our Dowagiac Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.