Saturday, August 6, 2011

Signs of Disease

There are many signs that indicate the presence of gum disease.
They can include:
• Halitosis, or bad breath. An end product of this disease
process and tissue breakdown is very often mouth
malodor, or halitosis, commonly called “bad breath.”
Although halitosis is a common symptom of periodontal
disease, it may be caused by other health problems
or conditions as well, such as gastritis (acid stomach).
If your breath is sour in the morning, it might be due
to dehydration or loss of saliva during sleep. And certain
allergies can leave a bacterial mucous that mixes
with your saliva and causes bad breath. Many medications
also have side effects that can leave you with bad
breath. Therefore, you should seek out a professional
for a diagnosis of what is causing the halitosis.
However, to determine if you have halitosis, cup
your hands over your mouth and breathe out. Then
smell. If you detect an odor, then you probably have
bad breath. Or ask your spouse or a close friend to
inform you if you have this problem. To determine if
the halitosis is originating from your mouth, try
smelling your dental floss after you have used it. If the
floss has a foul odor, the halitosis is probably emanating
from your teeth and gums.
• Malpositioned teeth. Another warning sign of periodontal
disease is loose and malpositioned teeth. Teeth
will move out of place due to bone loss. If your teeth
are moving out of position and seem to overlap, or if
gaps are forming between your teeth, this may be a
warning sign that you have gum disease. There are
other reasons for loose teeth, such as a fractured root,
so do seek a professional to obtain a proper diagnosis.
Do not try to diagnose the condition yourself!
• Receding gums. Have you ever heard the expression,
“long in the tooth”? This is used to describe receding
gums, or gums that are “backing away” from the teeth.
The condition is the result of gum and bone loss and
subsequent root exposure, thus giving the tooth a
longer appearance. Sensitivity can occur as well,
because the root does not have an enamel covering.
Enamel covers the crowns of your teeth and acts as a
protective covering.
• Bleeding gums. Do your gums bleed when you brush
your teeth? Bleeding around your gums is an important
indication of periodontal disease and is often the first
sign you may notice. Bleeding, as well as inflammation
and irritation of the gums, may also signal other medical
problems, so do not ignore these signs. Seek a professional
opinion. Such bleeding also can be a result of
the gum tissue drying out. This can occur if you wear
braces or have other problems that keep your lips from
closing over your teeth. Allergies may block the nasal
passages, leaving you no choice but to breathe through
your mouth. The result of mouth breathing, rather than
breathing through your nose with your mouth closed,
may be gingivitis. An open mouth can cause the tissue
to dry out and become loose and irritated. Or, if you
have allergies and your saliva has a lot of excess bacteria
and mucous, the fragile gum tissue can become
infected. People who suffer from postnasal drip have a
great deal of mucus in the saliva, and this causes irritated
• Gum abscesses. A gum abscess can be another sign of
gum disease. If an area of your mouth appears to have
a swelling or a lump above the tooth, then you may well have a gum abscess. The invasive bacteria within
the abscess will eat away at the supportive bone. The
onset of gum disease can begin with just one abscess
on one tooth. Bacteria will eat away at the bone surrounding
the tooth, resulting in less support to the
tooth and ultimately in tooth loss if not properly cared
for. An abscess does not necessarily have pain associated
with it, but you may have an additional problem
originating in the nerve, which will cause pain.
Gum disease is insidious and can progress without your
knowledge. Any early signs of this disease, as described
above, need your immediate attention. If you lose bone,
which roots your teeth into their sockets, your teeth will lack
support and will loosen or fall out. Bone, ligaments, and
gum tissue all support the positioning of the teeth. But diseased
conditions of our body can be reversed as long as we
do not deny that they exist.

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