3 Commonly Overlooked Signs Of Gum Disease

When people think of gum disease, thoughts of things like bleeding gums and oral pain may come to mind. However, not everyone experiences these symptoms, especially earlier on in the development of gum disease. Unfortunately, it's quite common for some symptoms of gum disease to be overlooked until the disease has progressed to the point that serious dental care and possible tooth loss become an issue. Here are three commonly overlooked signs of gum disease that you should look out for.

Bad Breath

Bad breath is often considered to be a sign of poor dental hygiene, but it can also specifically indicate a problem with your gums.

When gum disease develops, it's usually due to an excess of bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria can produce foul smells as they break down food and carbohydrates to convert into energy. Unfortunately, as gum disease becomes more severe, it can also cause the death of gum tissue. While the body usually does a good job of eliminating this tissue as it's damaged, it can cause an unpleasant smell to come directly from the gums in the meantime.

Food Stuck

Another sign is that you're having difficulty with food getting stuck directly under your gums, rather than between your teeth. The gums are designed to keep a tight seal around the base of your teeth, keeping out food, debris, and bacteria. However, when gums are damaged from gum disease, they tend to swell and become looser, letting these elements slide under them.

You'll likely notice this problem the most with hard, thin foods, like shards of tortilla or potato chips, or popcorn kernels. Getting this debris out from under your gums is absolutely a necessity in order to keep your teeth healthy, but if you already have this problem, chances are you need help from a dentist for your gums, too.

Big Teeth

Finally, gum disease can impact the way that your teeth look. While gum disease doesn't actually have any impact on your teeth themselves, as your gums get sicker, they can start to pull back and away from the teeth. As this happens, more of the tooth is revealed than normal. This can make your teeth appear longer or bigger than they have in the past. Not only can this impact your appearance, it also puts your teeth at risk, as these normally covered portions of your teeth lack dental enamel and are at a higher risk of being damaged by decay.

Talk to a local dentist to learn more.