Your gum tissue is just as important to your oral health as are your teeth – and healthy gums also lower the risk of numerous serious health conditions that can affect your whole body.
If you have gum disease, you can reverse its effects most efficiently and safely with laser periodontal treatment. (In some cases, other periodontal treatment methods like scaling and planing or soft tissue grafts may be more appropriate.)
However, the first step is to determine what condition your gum tissue is actually in at present. You need to know what healthy gums should look like and what signs to look for that might indicate some stage of periodontal (gum) disease.
1. Check Your Gum Coloration
The first thing to look at when checking up on your gum tissue is what color they are showing. Healthy gums should be light pink.
If your gums look too dark, even reddish, then that’s a sign that something may be wrong. It may or may not indicate gum disease, but it probably at least means that your gums are not at their optimal health level.
2. See If Your Gums Are Firm
Obviously, gum tissue is relatively soft by nature, but it should still be “firm.” Touch your gums. Are they too soft, too “squishy” or “spongy?” If so, that’s a bad sign.
Your gum tissue should not hurt when you touch it, nor should your gums be swollen and “puffy.” Gums should not be tender to the touch. Healthy gums are firm and can be safely touched without pain or discomfort.
3. Do You Notice A Receding Gum Line?
One major clue that you may have a gum problem is when your gum line is noticeably receding. If your teeth seem to be “getting bigger” as tooth roots become exposed, then your gums are shrinking back – and that is NOT healthy.
You may be able to correct a receding gum line with gum grafts or with the PST (pinhole surgical technique) procedure. A badly receded gum line is certainly a good reason to pay your local periodontist a visit.
4. Are You Noticing Any “Pink In The Sink?”
Many people notice that their gums are bleeding, especially during regular brushing and flossing, and just shrug it off. But persistent “pink in the sink” can mean you have the early stages of gingivitis.
It could be you need to switch from a hard to a soft-bristled toothbrush or just brush your gums more gently. Or it could be you are flossing too aggressively where your gum tissue protrudes up between your interdental spaces.
But when gum bleeding occurs when it clearly should not and keeps on happening over a period of weeks, then it’s time to talk to your periodontist about it.
5. Bad Breath Can Be A Tell-tale Sign Of Unhealthy Gums
Chronic bad breath, which dental professionals call “halitosis,” is no laughing matter! It can be a sign of the onset of gum disease.
Plaque that builds up on your tongue, gums, and teeth will feed bacterial colonies, which give off an unpleasant gas as they process food particles left in your mouth.
A breath mint may cover it up, but unless the underlying cause is removed, you don’t have healthy gums.
6. Be Aware Of Tooth & Gum Hyper-sensitivity
One effect of gum disease is that it can make teeth and gums become hyper-sensitive. That means sensitivity to cold/hot temperatures, to touching, to brushing/flossing, and more.
Pain while chewing or speaking often occurs in moderate to advanced cases of gum disease. If you have frequent pain in your gums/teeth, maybe your mouth is trying to tell you something?
7. Teeth Become Loose Or Even Fall Out
Periodontitis, the advanced form of gum disease, ultimately undermines the bone in which your teeth are rooted as well as the gum tissue that surrounds teeth. Eventually, if untreated, this can lead to tooth loss.
Laser periodontal treatment may be able to save your teeth as well as your gums! By treating your gum disease earlier rather than later, you can avoid a lot of pain and discomfort and likely fully reverse the ill effects of gingivitis or even periodontitis.
Laser periodontal treatment is the most advanced and most convenient form of treatment for gum disease available today. If you think your gums may be in poor health or you may have the beginnings of gum disease, waste no time in contacting your local periodontist for help.
In Central Florida, contact Ormond Beach Periodontics & Implant Dentistry for answers to all your questions about gums, gum health, laser periodontal treatment, and more!