Gum problem is an infection of the gums. It is caused by plaque, a sticky film that collects on the teeth and gums. Plaque makes acids and toxins that can make gums red, puffy, or bleed.
If your hands bled when you washed them, you would be concerned. Yet, many people think it’s normal if their gums bleed when they brush or floss.
Swollen and bleeding gums are early signs that your gums are infected with bacteria. If nothing is done, the infection can spread. It can destroy the structures that support your teeth in your jawbone. Eventually, your teeth can become so loose that they have to be extracted.
Gum problems are common. Many people have an early form of gum problems, which can be treated with good oral care. But if you ignore gum problems they can weaken the bone around the teeth, causing teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.
Here are some signs of gum problems:
- Gums that are red or puffy or bleed when you brush or floss. These are early forms of gum problems. They can usually be treated with good oral care.
- Tooth pain or sensitivity. Gums that have pulled away from the teeth can make teeth sensitive to hot or cold foods or drinks.
- Persistent bad breath
- Adult teeth that are loose or develop gaps; changes in the way your teeth fit when you bite down. This is the most serious form of gum problems, called periodontitis.
It is possible to have gum disease and have no warnings signs. That is one reason why you regular check-ups and periodontal examinations are very important
Here are some tips to help prevent gum problems and periodontal disease:
- Brush teeth and gums. Floss between teeth. Pay special attention to your back teeth. They are likely to have more plaque on them because they are hard to reach.
- Change your toothbrush every 3 months. Bristles that are worn remove less dental plaque.
- If your gums bleed, don’t stop brushing and flossing your teeth. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles so you don’t hurt your gums. See your dental team if the bleeding continues.
- Visit your dental team regularly for teeth cleanings and checkups. Tell your dental team if you are pregnant or have diabetes. These conditions make it harder for the body to fight gum problems.
- Check your gums in the mirror often. Look for changes in colour or texture. If you think you have gum problems, see your dental team.
Remember: You don’t have to lose teeth to gum disease. Brush your teeth twice a day, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
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