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Gum Disease or Sensitivity: Know the Difference

Gum disease or sensitivity? It's important to know the difference.

You need to know if the soreness in your mouth is gum disease or sensitivity, because the health of your mouth affects the health of your whole body. There is a difference between sensitivity and gum disease, and knowing how to distinguish between them can help you prevent a problem from becoming more serious. Let’s look at the difference.

How Do You Know If It’s Gum Disease or Sensitivity?

Gum sensitivity happens every now and again, but it should be localized and infrequent. Minor inflammation can cause slight gum pain. So, what causes the minor inflammation?

Well, you can cause that with improper brushing and flossing techniques. If you use a toothbrush with hard bristles, for example, that can cause some gum soreness. You might want to switch to a toothbrush with softer bristles.

Additionally, if you brush vigorously or floss in a very tenacious manner, that can cause some transitory gum sensitivity. It’s not necessary to use a lot of force to remove interdental plaque. Go easy on your gums, and they won’t be sore.

When Gum Sensitivity Becomes Gum Disease

Gum sensitivity can also be a sign of the beginning stages of gum disease. First, your gums become inflamed, and that leads to more serious problems. If it’s gum disease, you’ll notice the redness and swelling don’t go away. You might also notice some bleeding after flossing and brushing.

Bleeding is a definite sign of gum disease. It isn’t normal under any circumstances. If you are attentive to your oral health regimen and the bleeding doesn’t stop after about a week, it’s time to visit your dentist. You’ll want to get any problems fixed before they get worse. These early stages of gum disease are reversible if you take action.

When Gum Disease Becomes Periodontitis

If you let gum disease go, it will evolve into periodontitis. This is the stage at which you’ll not only experience gum soreness and bleeding, but you can also lose a tooth and get bad breath, as well. What’s more, you’ll notice the roots of your teeth are exposed which can make them vulnerable to decay.

What’s happening is that gum disease has caused pockets to form next to your teeth. These pockets hold the bacteria-filled plaque next to your tooth and that causes decay. When gum disease reaches this stage, there are already irreversible effects. You can manage periodontitis, but it requires more invasive procedures and more extensive at-home care.

Final thoughts

It’s critical to know how to tell if your pain is gum disease or sensitivity. If it’s gum disease, it’s time for a visit to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned. Your dentist will go over proper oral care techniques.

Contact our office today, and Dr. Barry Buchanan will be happy to help you with any dental problems you might have!

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