Gingivitis, which is the medical term for the early stages of gum disease, is one of the most common dental problems that people experience. However, it can quickly turn into a much more serious and painful problem if left unchecked. That's why understanding the early warning signs of gingivitis can help you identify the problem early so that you can talk to your dentist about treatment options immediately.
Inflammation of the Gums
If your gums become inflamed seemingly at random, you may be experiencing the onset of gingivitis. This is usually because of poor dental hygiene, which causes plaque and other dental buildup to stay near the gums, where it can cause irritation and soreness. If you experience constant soreness or inflammation in your gums, you may want to consider flossing and brushing more regularly to reduce the amount of buildup along your gum line.
In a similar vein to the above point, poor dental care can lead to constant bad breath. This can be one of the earliest signs of gingivitis, because it can occur before your gums actually experience any discomfort or exposure to plaque and buildup. If you notice that you consistently have bad breath, you should immediately talk to your doctor about how you can improve your dental health regimen to reduce the chances of developing gingivitis in the future.
Altered Gum Line
If your gums have been exposed to a great deal of plaque, you may begin to notice signs of actual physical changes to your gum line. This can take a number of forms, but is always a good indicator that you should talk to your dentist immediately about changing your dental health routine. Look for either an apparent elongation of your teeth, which is caused by your gums receding away from the base of your teeth, or a small pocket that looks like the skin on your gums is being pulled downwards. While such changes cannot be reversed, you can slow down the speed at which they develop and improve your overall dental and gum health from here on forward.
One of the most serious signs that you have begun to develop gingivitis is if you actually see some sort of discharge or pus come out of your gum. This will usually come out from the space between your teeth, and will almost always point to a gum infection. If you notice any sort of discharge in your mouth, you should head to a family dentist immediately to have your situation assessed.