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gum disease

Identifying Gum Disease

The prevalence of gum disease comes as a surprise to many. According to the CDC, nearly half of those over 30 years old have gum disease, and that number only increases as people grow older. The commonness of gum disease is even more shocking and unfortunate considering that the condition is completely avoidable.

Thankfully, gum disease can be prevented and even reverse if it is caught early. To ensure you are maintaining proper gum health and nip and potential issues in the bud, it is important to know how to identify gum disease.

So, if you find yourself asking, “what does gum disease look like?” you’ve come to the right place. Read on for a quick guide to recognizing gum disease, including the early warning signs.

Signs of Gum Disease

Knowing and noticing the first signs of gum disease can help you identify issues early and stop them from progressively getting worse. The quicker gum disease is caught and treated, the less likely it is to cause bigger problems and irreversible damage.

There are a handful of telltale warnings that can alert you to developing gum disease. Be on the lookout for:

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gum when you brush and/or floss
  • Loose teeth
  • Newly developed tooth sensitivity
  • Pain when you chew
  • Red and swollen gums

The symptoms, when noticed early, can be the first signs of gum disease. If you notice them, visit your dentist as soon as possible and make them aware of your concerns. This is the best way to evaluate whether or not you have developing gum disease, determine the extent of the problem, and formulate a plan to address the issue.

Gum Disease Risk Factors

Anyone can develop gum disease, but there are a few risk factors that increase the possibility of the condition occurring and worsening. Familiarizing yourself with these risk factors is prudent, as those who check any of the boxes below should be extra cautious about the health and wellness of their gums.

  • Hormonal changes (pregnancy is a good example)
  • Medications that cause dry mouth
  • Obesity
  • Preexisting conditions (such as Crohn’s disease or diabetes)
  • Tobacco use

If you have any of these risk factors, you should alert your dentist and keep a close watch for any of the symptoms of gum disease. Even if you do not fall into any of the risk categories above, you can have a candid conversation with your dentist regarding risk factors, as they will be able to give you personalized insights into how your health and lifestyle may impact your gum disease risk level.


To learn more about gum disease, including how to identify certain warning signs and other potential risk factors, be sure to speak to your dentist. They will be happy to discuss the disease with you, grant you insight that only a professional can, and specially tailor a prevention plan to your personal needs.

If you believe you are displaying some symptoms of gum disease, the best thing to do is contact your dentist, schedule a visit, and have an open conversation about your concerns. Often, gum disease can be stopped in its tracks and even reversed using simple, non-invasive techniques.