Could you have periodontal disease and not even know it? Since gum disease is the leading cauperiose of tooth loss in The Woodlands, Dr. Saunders warns to be on the lookout for these hidden symptoms.
“Healthy” Looking Gums Masked by Tobacco Use
One of the biggest red flags for gum disease is bleeding when you brush and floss. But for some people, even areas with aggressive periodontitis look healthy. The smooth, coral-pink or light-colored gums don’t bleed when they floss, even though they’re detaching from the roots of teeth far under what’s on the surface.
This dilemma is common among people who use cigarettes and tobacco products. Since the ingredients in tobacco and the act of smoking cause blood vessels to atrophy inside of your mouth, you don’t get the typical inflammation, redness, or bleeding when you brush and floss.
But just because there’s not bleeding doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. If you’re someone who smokes but doesn’t floss every day, you should see a dentist or our periodontist in The Woodlands for a periodontal exam at least once a year.
Getting Food Stuck Between Your Teeth
Do you need a toothpick or flosser after every single meal? If you’ve got a “spot” that seems to collect food each time you eat, it’s not just something that’s annoying. It could actually be an area where your gum tissues are pulling back, creating an opening between teeth where there shouldn’t be one.
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Sure, your bad breath can come from that onion on your sandwich or garlic in the soup you just ate. In reality, about 90% of halitosis-causing bacteria are found on your tongue.
When you’re cleaning your tongue daily but still struggle with halitosis, there’s another place you should be looking: under your gums. Periodontal infections are known for causing a particular type of malodor that’s different from what you would experience due to your food choices. The bad news is that you can’t brush or floss it away, or cover it up with mouthwash. In reality, the mouthwash could be causing it to get worse.
It’s normal for women to experience swelling in their gums during hormonal changes (including pregnancy, menses, or menopause.) Symptoms often include gums that are puffy and red, or that become so inflamed that it looks like there are small growths along the margins.
Even some kids (both girls and boys) can experience atypical periodontal infections during the prepubescent years.
But don’t dismiss these symptoms for hormones. Since it’s not something that affects everyone, there’s a higher chance that you’re getting some type of periodontal infection.
When to See a Specialist
Early diagnosis of periodontal disease is crucial. Left untreated, the infection causes deterioration of the structures (both gums and bone) that hold your teeth in place.
If you’re in The Woodlands or need a gum specialist in Conroe, we invite you to schedule an evaluation with our periodontal expert, Dr. Kip Saunders. Call today to request an appointment.