Did you know that up to 9 in 10 adults in the UK have some degree of gum disease? That may give the impression that it isn’t a serious condition, but if left untreated, gum disease causes tooth and bone loss and increases the risk of major health complications such as stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Here’s how to spot the symptoms before they become a serious health risk. 
 
1. Swollen gums 
Healthy gums should be pink and firm – if you notice that yours are swollen or tender, it is likely an indication you have an early form of gum disease called gingivitis. This is caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth and gumline. Fortunately, gingivitis is easily treated with professional gum care followed by a daily oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing. Park Dental Care’s friendly dental therapists Emma, Christina, and Karen will be happy to show you the best way to eliminate gingivitis during your regular hygienist appointment. 
 
2. Bleeding gums 
Bleeding gums are often an early sign of gum disease – plaque build-up causes gums to become irritated and inflamed, which can result in bleeding when brushing or flossing. Gingivitis is completely reversible with effective oral health care, so if you notice that your gums are bleeding, don’t ignore them – make an appointment with your dental hygienist to remedy the problem before it progresses into a more advanced form of gum disease. 
 
3. Tooth sensitivity 
There are several reasons you may experience sensitivity to extreme hot or cold foods, pressure, or acidic food and drinks, but gum disease is one possibility. Your dentist will be able to advise you on how best to treat tooth sensitivity depending on the underlying cause. 
 
4. Bad breath (halitosis) 
Waking up with less-than-fresh breath is normal, but if you notice that you have bad breath throughout the day even after you’ve brushed your teeth (or a persistent bad taste in your mouth), it is a possible sign of gum disease. Many symptoms don’t appear until the disease has reached an advanced stage known as periodontitis, which, left untreated, leads to tooth and bone loss. This is why regular dental check-ups are so important. 
 
5. Receding gums 
Do your teeth seem longer than they used to? If your gums are pulling away from the teeth, it may be a sign that gum disease is progressing. The expression ‘long in the tooth’ is often used to describe getting older, but there’s no need to accept receding gums as a natural part of ageing – practicing good oral health habits and seeking early treatment can prevent gum recession whatever your age. 
 
Keeping regular dental appointments and maintaining an effective oral hygiene routine is the best way to prevent gum disease. To make your next appointment with one of the professional team at Park Dental Care, give us a call today. 
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