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Why Is Gum Disease Painless At First?

Posted on 7/23/2019 by Dr. Karl Zeren
Why Is Gum Disease Painless At First?When you come in to see us, you might be surprised if we tell you that you have gingivitis or, worse, gum disease. After all, you may not have experienced any pain in your mouth.

Sure, your gums might bleed a little and you may have bad breath sometimes, but surely you would notice some pain if your gums were being infected, right? Actually, gum disease is almost always painless at first, which surprises many people.

Why Doesn't Gum Disease Hurt?

In the beginning, gingivitis occurs when bacteria begins to build up on your gums and teeth. This doesn't really hurt, but the body takes notice of it. That's why the gums may become swollen and inflamed. If you brush them, they bleed. However, since the bacteria aren't affecting the roots of your teeth and aren't deep into your gums yet, your nerves aren't affected. You don't feel any pain.

It Gets Worse
However, when the bacteria begins entering the gums and getting down into the bones, it may start to hurt. However, you may still not feel any pain. Again, just like gingivitis, you may not even be aware that you have gum disease. However, once infection truly sets in, numerous side effects such as exposed tooth roots will start to cause pain.

A "Silent Killer"
Gum disease has been called a silent killer because of the lack of pain and even other symptoms. For example, one symptom is bad breath, but some people don't realize they have this condition chronically. They may just assume they ate something that caused it. Bad breath can also be a sign of a cavity or other issue, too. The same with issues such as bleeding or swollen gums—people who use hard-bristled toothbrushes may assume this is normal.

Gum disease is not something to take lightly. If you suspect you are suffering from gingivitis or gum disease, call us today to make an appointment.
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