The reason we visit our dentists twice a year for a checkup and professional cleaning is not only to keep our teeth looking white, but rather to protect us against developing periodontal disease. Periodontal, or gum disease, is the major cause of tooth loss. While our teeth are meant to last a lifetime, they need care just like the rest of our bodies. Without the proper care, our gums can become diseased, and once you lose one tooth, chances are, more will follow. If you are displaying these signs, you may already have periodontal disease.
Our bodies fight off disease and illness via inflammation. It is a natural defense response. If your gums are inflamed, it is the result of your immune system attempting to isolate the disease-causing bacteria and prevent it from spreading to other parts of your body. Inflammation of the gums is usually the first telltale sign of periodontal disease.
In addition to bright red inflamed gums, bleeding gums are also a sign of periodontal disease. Many people think that bleeding gums are caused by using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing forcefully. However, bleeding gum tissues are not normal and should be taken as a warning sign.
If you are noticing tooth sensitivity due to exposed root surfaces, you are probably suffering from receding gums, a more advanced sign of periodontal disease. As the disease progresses your gum tissues shrink or recede. They can also form pockets of infection and will lead to the breaking down of your periodontal ligaments which help hold your teeth in place.