Gum Disease and Bleeding Gums – it's about more than your teeth!

Gum disease covers a wide range of problems ranging all the way from bleeding gums through to loose and wobbly teeth.  As dentists the thing that worries us most is the fact that many people don’t realise how important gum health is in relation to your whole body health and  ignore the early warning signs of trouble.

So what should you look out for to  spot  Gum Disease early  in your own mouth?

The key sign of trouble is bleeding from the gums, usually this can be when you brush or floss, but in  more extreme cases can happen even when you bite into food. Bleeding is a sign that there is inflammation present in the gums and that is not a good thing.

Notice the dark red red swollen shiny gum peaks between each tooth

If you look in the mirror at your gums they should be pale pink with a texture that looks like orange peel, if you see that the gums are darker red, tight, shiny and swollen then this is a sign that  you may have inflammation present.

Can Gum Disease affect the rest of your body too?

research on this is ongoing but there is a growing body of evidence to show that poor gum health can impact on  many other conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. it has been associated with premature births, low birth weight babies  and now research is looking at links between gum disease and conditions like  Alzheimer’s and Arthritis.

As gum disease is largely  a pain free condition until the problem is very advanced,  it is possible of gum disease to develop and a lot of the supporting bone for your teeth to be destroyed without you realising. The good news is that for most people the right care and advice can stop Gum disease in its tracks. Caught early enough often little or no lasting damage is done. Best advice is to have a dentist or hygienist check out your gums at least once  a year and more if  you have experienced problems in the past.  For tips on preventing gum disease  see a future blog post.