Healthy gums look pale pink and firm, but they can still look pink even as the disease begins. There are different classes of gum disease, and as you progress to the more serious forms, your damage will become more severe. You are your own first line of defense! It’s important that you know what gum disease looks like in its earliest form so that you can get treatment right away.
Watch for the known warning signs that you are in the beginning stages of gum disease:
• Gums that are swollen around your teeth. Affected gums swell and protrude in all directions around the teeth that have plaque and tartar.
• Gums that are bright red or bruised-looking. The color is a result of the infection deep within the gums themselves. Healthy gums are light in color, but the deep or bright hue shows irritation.
• Receding gums that are pulling away from your teeth, causing your teeth to look longer or larger than usual. Not all gums swell with the disease. In fact, many people report that their gums actually pull back from the teeth, leaving the roots exposed and sensitive.
• New spaces between teeth that used to be pushed together. When your gums are swelling or retracting, your teeth are also likely to move, a sign that is often more immediately noticeable than gum changes.
• Pus-forming or oozing from between your teeth. Whether it is excessive bleeding or pus, liquids that come from your teeth and gums always indicate a problem.
• Loose adult teeth. Your permanent teeth shouldn’t be loose. If you’re experiencing movement or wiggling teeth, you should visit the office right away.
• A change in the fit of your teeth when you bite your jaw together. Even if your teeth only move a little, your bite may be affected, causing your teeth to fit together differently than in the past.
• An ongoing bad taste in your mouth, even if you haven’t eaten. The layers of plaque and tartar on your teeth can cause a long-standing unpleasant taste in your mouth.
• Constant sores in your mouth. Sores are another sign of infection, and being unable to get rid of them is a cause for concern.
• Bad breath that just doesn’t seem to go away. This is also typically caused by the buildup of old plaque and tartar on your teeth and tongue.
It’s always best to have any dental concern checked by a dentist. We would rather see one of our patients with perfectly healthy gums and reassure that person that everything is fine and worry-free than to discover periodontal gum disease after damage is already done.