Most people start to suspect that they have gum disease when their gums begin bleeding. However, for most people, the symptoms start long before that stage. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell if you have gum disease without knowing what to look for. The solution is just as easy as looking at the edge of your gums where it meets your teeth. Here are three big signs that something's up with the health of your gums.
Tight and Puffy
Your gums should form a seal around the edge of your teeth, but there's a difference between a seal and an overly tight squeeze. When gums become infected or experience gum disease, they often become puffy just above the edge of the gums. This causes the tissue around the tooth to be pulled on, which makes it tighter around your teeth. This pressure may also cause the color to change, making the edge of your gums appear red or white.
As stated, your gums should form a seal in order to keep out food, liquid, and bacteria from getting to the root of your teeth. However, this isn't always the case, especially if you have gum disease. If the edge of your gums appears to gap around your teeth, that's a very strong sign that you're developing gum disease. In addition, it's a health risk. The longer your gums are like that, the more likely it is that your teeth will become damaged from exposure to food or drink that they shouldn't be.
Lastly, if part of your gum line is further up or down than the rest of it, this may also indicate a problem. This indicates that there's stress or pressure only affecting one part of your gums. This can often happen if you have something stuck under your gums that's irritating the tissue. A small fragment of something like a tortilla chip or a popcorn kernel could be causing problems. It's also possible that you have a pocket of infection in your gums or tooth that's causing this to happen. In either case, medical attention is needed as soon as possible. An infection or foreign object will only get worse without medical treatment.
Healthy gums can keep your breath sweet and your teeth solidly in place. By taking a careful look at your gum edge on a regular basis, you can catch warning signs of oral health troubles before they become severe and put your teeth at risk. Be sure to talk to your dentist if you suspect you'll need periodontal disease treatment.