Taking care of your oral health for its own sake is great, but did you know that many major diseases can be linked to poor oral health?
It can put you at greater risk for heart disease and Alzheimer’s, and illnesses like diabetes and cancer have oral symptoms—meaning your dentist could identify a more serious illness at an early stage. While much of our attention to oral health focuses on our teeth, it’s actually bacteria build-up along the gums that often cause the biggest medical issues. Here are some gum disease symptoms to watch for and tell your dentist about:
- Inflamed, sore, or bleeding gums: One of the first symptoms of poor gum health is, thankfully, easy to spot. Gums should not be swollen, feel sore, and bleed when you brush. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your dentist.
- Chronic bad breath: The bacteria in your mouth give off toxins as they feast on the plaque build-up, and those toxins don’t smell good. If your breath remains bad even after you’ve brushed, it could be a sign of more serious gum disease.
- Longer-looking teeth: If you notice that your teeth appear “longer,” it’s not that they’ve grown—it’s that your gums have receded.
- Sensitive teeth: Another sign of receding gums is that your teeth might suddenly be more sensitive to things like cold beverages or sweets.