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5 Signs of Gum Disease

Dentist examining a patient's teeth in the dentist.

The most common side effect of poor oral health is periodontitis, or gum disease. If you are not visiting the dentist twice a year, brushing twice a day, and flossing regularly, you will most likely develop gum disease. A recent study showed that 47.2% of American adults have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis.*

Are you dealing with it? Here are the 5 signs that you have the disease:

1. Red, Swollen, or Tender Gums: If your gums have been irritating you in a way that interrupts your daily life, it is time to see a dentist. The most common sign of gum disease is swollen, red, or tender gums. If you find yourself with this symptom, it is time to take better care of your oral health.

2. Sores in Your Mouth: Painful sores that appear in your mouth or along your gums are a cause for concern. These sores are not normal and often mean you have gum disease. If they do not go away and continue to bother you, go see a dentist to find out your treatment options.

3. Receding Gums: Gums that are receding or pulling away from your teeth indicate you have periodontitis. This symptom can mean it is a severe case and you need to visit your dentist immediately before your gums recede any further.

4. Persistent Bad Breath: If you have tried everything to get rid of your bad breath and it does not go away, this could be a sign of a more serious problem, like gum disease. You should be able to get rid of bad breath by brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and scraping your tongue. When techniques like this do not work, you need to talk to your dentist about whether you have gum disease.

5. Bleeding while Brushing, Flossing, or Eating: Finding blood while you are doing anything that involves teeth, whether it’s brushing, eating, or flossing, could be alarming. When blood continues to appear on a daily basis, is when it is time to contact your dentist.

The positive part of periodontitis is that it is easily treatable by improving your dental hygiene. If you think you have gum disease, it is best to visit your dentist. Treatment options vary by how severe your case of periodontitis is.