We spend time worrying about things like cancer and heart attacks, but we rarely think about what is going on in our mouth. The threat of gum disease is very real for so many patients, but knowing the signs and talking to your Tampa dentist can help keep you safe and healthy. There is nothing better than a good dental routine set up with your Tampa dentist to keep your mouth and gums healthy, but if you think you may have signs of gum disease, here is what you need to know.

The causes of most oral health problems, including gum disease, start with poor oral hygiene habits. When you don’t regularly brush and floss, the bacteria forms on the teeth, causing plaque. It is when the plaque hardens that it becomes tartar; the problem with tartar is that is cannot be removed with regular brushing and flossing. As this requires a dental visit, the tartar has time to eat away at your gums and enamel, opening you up to infections of the gums. Once your gums are infected, you will start to see the redness and swelling, and as your gums pull away from the teeth, you may even see your teeth loosen or fall out.

Gum disease can show a number of different symptoms that, if present, should be discussed with your Tampa dentist. One of the most prominent symptoms are tender, swollen, or bleeding gums; if you have any of these, let your dentist know at your next appointment. You may also experience persistent, untreatable bad breath, or tooth loss in serious cases. Any of these symptoms could be signs of underlying gum disease, so take these seriously and don’t wait to get them treated.

Just like any disease or condition, leaving gum disease untreated can wreak havoc on your mouth. Without assistance from your dentist, you could be in discomfort or lose some of your teeth. If you’re worried about gum disease, consult with your dentist immediately before it can progress.