Symptoms of gum disease

Let's first look at what a healthy set of gums should look like - pink and firm to keep teeth anchored in place. They should not bleed when you touch them or brush your teeth.

This might sound like common sense but it's important you take care of your oral hygiene, and if you experience any noticeable changes you should get in touch with your dental practice. Now, we will look at the in-depth symptoms a patient may experience.

What should I look out for?

The two most noticeable features of gum disease are:

  • Swelling and redness of the gums.
  • Gum which start to bleed after brushing or flossing.

If such early symptoms are recognised and you are able to visit your dentist, gum disease can be stopped before it has started to cause any real damage. By allowing gum disease to fester and develop, gum disease can cause a smile to deteriorate rapidly.

The more advanced stages of gum disease

Periodontitis is the term given to a more advanced stage of gum disease and is where the swelling and bleeding of the gums gets worse. There are some specific symptoms for periodontitis and these include:

  • Bad breath. This may also include a foul taste in the affected person's mouth.
  • Sensitive teeth, which react to hot and cold liquid or simply when touched. Teeth may also fall out during much more advanced stages of this condition.
  • Pus seeping from the gums. Further, abscesses may also form with pus forming under the gums and teeth.
  • Receding gums.

Another form of gum disease is known as Acute Necrotising Ulcerative Gingivitis, or ANUG for short. This is a rare condition, with more severe symptoms than other gum disease conditions.

Symptoms of ANUG include the following:

  • Painful, bleeding gums, with ulcers.
  • Severe bad breath, including a metallic taste in the person's mouth.
  • Excessive levels of saliva in the mouth.
  • A high fever, with the patient feeling unwell - they may have swollen lymph nodes on the neck, which are symptomatic of the body fighting an infection.

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