Gum disease is a silent disease. Many people affected by gum disease don’t realize it until the disease is in its advanced stages. In some cases, there is no pain even in the advanced stages of gum disease.
You can only recognize the symptoms of gum disease if you understand what healthy gums ought to look like. Healthy gums should:
- Be pink in color
- Should be firm to the touch
- Should keep your teeth firmly in place. You should therefore not have any lose teeth if your gums are healthy.
Early symptoms of gum disease
When gum disease is in its early stages, it is referred to as gingivitis. The symptoms associated with this stage of the disease include:
- Reddening of the gums
- Swelling of the gums as a result of inflammation
- Gums bleeding during or after brushing teeth or flossing teeth. This should not be confused with the bleeding that may occur when using a toothbrush with hard bristles.
Symptoms of advanced stages of gum disease
If the stage of gingivitis goes untreated, the gum disease continues to progress by affecting the teeth and the bones that support the teeth. This results in a condition known as periodontitis. The symptoms associated with this stage of gum disease include:
- A constant unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Constant bad breath
- The development of abscesses in the gums as a result of the collection of pus under the teeth and gums
- Loose teeth making it difficult to eat or bite
Symptoms associated with ulcerative gingivitis
There are rare cases where the periodontitis stage of gum disease goes untreated. This results in the development of a condition known as acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG). The symptoms associated with this condition are more severe than other stages of gum disease. They include:
- The formation of painful ulcers on the gums
- Bleeding of gums even when not brushing or flossing
- Painful gums
- The gum tissue between the teeth begins to recede
- There is a constant metallic taste in the mouth
- The formation of excessive saliva in the mouth
- Constant bad breath
- The development of a fever
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Difficulty in speaking.
See a dentist
If you have noticed any of the signs and symptoms of gum disease, it is imperative that you see your dentist as soon as possible. Because the disease can sometimes be painless, people are unaware that they have developed gum disease. It is therefore advisable to have regular checks with your dentist to ensure that the disease is identified early and proper treatment administered.