When people think about gum disease and its signs and symptoms, oftentimes their minds gravitate to things like bleeding gums and redness. While it's true that these are frequent symptoms of gum disease both mild and severe, there are other symptoms that you should keep an eye out for, as well. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, you should consider seeing a dentist for treatment.
Bad breath is often blamed on things like plaque on the tongue or dry mouth, but it can also be caused by your gums when they're experiencing gum disease.
Gums may develop a bad smell because of bacterial overgrowth and what it's doing to your gums. Severe bacterial overgrowth and gum disease can cause your gums to start decaying, which can create a horrible smell whenever you open your mouth. You may also notice a strange taste in your mouth when you haven't recently had anything to drink or eat. If your bad breath doesn't clear up after doing things like brushing your teeth or using mouthwash, you should consult with a dentist to see if your gums are to blame.
Another common issue with gum disease that's frequently overlooked is getting food stuck under your gums. This is more common with hard and crunchy foods, like popcorn kernels, tortilla chips, and the like.
What's happening here is that your gums are receding away from your teeth. Normally, the gums provide a tight seal around the teeth, keeping things like this from getting in. However, once they start to recede, that ability is diminished. So if you've been frustrated to find that you have to floss or use a dental pick to get food out from under your gums, you should really see a dentist.
Last is a symptom you can only feel, not see. For the most part, people don't notice their gums when they aren't chewing or brushing them. You shouldn't feel anything in particular unless your gums come into contact with something. But if your gums feel tight, like they're stretched or taut, that's a bad sign.
Gums typically feel like this because there's inflammation under the surface that's forcing the gums to literally stretch. This often occurs alongside getting food stuck under your gums.
If you experience any of these symptoms, especially if they're in tandem with more traditional signs of gum disease like bleeding and redness, contact a dentist immediately for assistance.