Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among many people. It is very important to recognize the early signs of gum disease so that they do not graduate to more traumatizing events such as permanent tooth loss. The signs are not so obvious. Many times, the problems get advanced and can also reach irreversible stages without being noticed or detected. Gum disease is generally caused by bacteria. These bacteria alongside mucus and other chemicals form a sticky, colorless substance on the teeth. This is known as plaque. Plaque can be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing of the teeth. If the plaque stays on teeth it hardens to form yet another substance known as tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by simple brushing; it can only be eliminated by a dental professional.

One sign of gum disease is halitosis or bad breath. Bad breath is very damaging to a person’s professional and social life. Halitosis that is related to the mouth is mostly detected by tongue. Other parts of the mouth also constitute to the smell, but the back of the tongue is the most common. Food that is trapped in the tonsils is usually a cause of bad breath as it is decaying. After following your daily oral cleaning regime and the smell still persists, it is important to see a dentist as this may be a clear sign that there may be a deeper problem caused by bacteria growing in the mouth.

In some cases, there is no pain at all but it should be noted that it does not have to be painful at first. It may be accompanied by bleeding, slightly swollen or red gums. The swelling can be minimal but more apparent signs of gum disease that do not include pain are receding gums and changes in the alignment of the jaw.

Another sign is sensitivity when taking hot or cold foods. This is indicated at the early and it helps to avert more damage to the teeth. If the problem is identified early, mild medication and a better approach to brushing and flossing with regular visits to the dentist for professional cleaning may help solve the problem when it is still early.

It is important to always be on the lookout for gum disease. If you experience cases of bad breath and occasional bleeding, you should see a dentist as soon as possible.

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