How to Recognize Gum Disease

Gum disease is a progressive disease where bacteria and infection spread below the gum line damaging the soft tissue, roots and bone along the way. Although the symptoms of gum disease can be difficult to identify in the early stages, certain warning signs may be an indication gum disease has already started to develop.

What Gum Disease Can Look Like

Common symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding Gums – Swollen gums that bleed during and after brushing or flossing. Bleeding gums are usually among the first signs of infection and can occur during the early stage of gum disease, commonly called gingivitis.
  • Swollen Gums – The bacteria irritates the gums and can cause them to redden and feel tender.
  • Bad Breath – Although bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by a number of conditions and issues, the persistent presence of bacteria and decay can cause a noticeably bad taste in the mouth and a strong odor.
  • Receding Gums – As infection spreads, it destroys the soft gum tissue and enters the bone. At this stage, the disease is referred to as periodontitis, because it has progressed from the gingival tissue of the gum to the periodontal ligaments that attach the tooth to the bone. The tissue and ligaments shrinks away from the teeth, leaving them looking elongated and structurally less stable.
  • Loose Teeth – With less supporting tissue and bone surrounding them, teeth can become looser, which can impact biting, chewing and smile aesthetics.
  • Mouth Structure – Gum disease can ultimately alter the appearance of the mouth and the bite itself. Loose teeth and receding gums caused by gum disease can also impact the fit of partial dentures and other oral appliances.

Although these warning signs commonly indicate the presence of gum disease, the true cause of any dental or oral issue is always best diagnosed by a professional. Contact our Houston dental office to make an appointment if you have experienced any of these symptoms, or for more information about gum disease and prevention.

Adjusting to Your New Dentures

Adjusting to your new dentures can be a challenging process. After all, they neither feel nor function exactly like your original teeth. The sensations are different, and it can take some time to get used to them. Dentures might cause you to lisp slightly when speaking, and they might make chewing more difficult. However, Dr. John Krell has a few tips to make the adjustment time as quick and comfortable as possible. Here is some of the advice he gives at his office in Houston.

  • Bear in mind dentures feel more comfortable and natural over time, so the first and most basic piece of advice is to be patient. Don’t assume that the way they feel in the first few days is how they are always going to feel. Initially, they can feel bulky in your mouth, pressing against the cheeks and lips. You might even feel like gagging, but these feelings will go away.
  • It’s a good idea to wear the dentures at night for a while. This will help you adjust to them faster, and once adjusted, you can begin to remove them at night for regular, thorough cleanings. If you develop a sore in your mouth, rinse your mouth out with warm salt water.
  • Learning to eat with dentures also takes time, so start with softer foods that are easier to chew. Once you get used to chewing with dentures, you can gradually introduce firmer foods. Alternate the sides of your mouth while chewing in order to stabilize the dentures. Also, avoid biting into firmer foods using the front teeth so as to prevent the dentures from dislodging.
  • The lower denture can be a little harder to adjust to because it does not have the grip or suction of the upper denture. Rest your tongue against the inside front edge to help keep it in place. For a while, you might want to use adhesives, but you can eventually learn to control the position of the denture with your lips and tongue.

If all of this seems more challenging than you expected, bear in mind the initial symptoms are only temporary. The end result is worth the adjustment time, so hang in there. Dr. John Krell can make necessary changes along the way, ensuring that you have the best possible fit. For more information about dentures or to schedule an appointment, contact our office in Houston today.

Welcome to our blog!

We’re excited to announce the official launch of our John H. Krell, D.D.S. blog.

We’ll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we’re there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from John H. Krell, D.D.S., simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here’s to your best oral health ever!