How To Spot Gum Disease


Our mouths are stock full of bacteria, and this bacterium grows each day, which is why it is important to stay on top of your oral hygiene. If the bacteria in your mouth is not taken care of on a daily basis, it will build up, along with mucus and other particles and this will constantly form a sticky, colourless plaque on your teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. Plaque that isn’t removed can harden and form “tartar” that brushing cannot clean. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar. It is important to keep an eye out for the symptoms mentioned below if you are not flossing and regularly brushing, as you may very well have accumulated enough tartar to co-create gum disease.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem, which should be checked by a dentist near you. To make sure you do not have any underlying conditions, ask about your medical history to identify if you may be contributing to the risk of gum disease. Smoking is a no-no, for starters.

How to Examine Gums for signs and symptoms?


In some studies, researchers have observed that people with gum disease (when compared to people without gum disease) were more likely to develop heart disease or have difficulty controlling blood sugar. There is a quick and painless way to check for swelling of your gums, which can be an early indication of gum disease. Measure your gum pockets, if they are thicker than 3 millimetres it is time to consult a dentist as more research is needed to clarify whether gum disease is present. Please take note; treating gum disease can keep other health conditions from developing.

It is a fact that controlling gum disease can save your teeth – a very good reason to take care of your teeth and gums. Contact a dentist in Cape Town for a check-up today.

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