Don't ignore this early warning sign of gum disease - Fox 2 News Headlines

Don't ignore this early warning sign of gum disease

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(WJBK) - Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults, and doctors say one of the first signs of the disease often gets ignored.

It can be painful, but it is easily treated if it's caught early.

Dr. Betty Haberkamp, a dentist at Cleveland Clinic's Head and Neck Institute, says although the first signs of the disease aren't necessarily painful, many people ignore the most obvious one - bleeding.

"People do this with their gums all the time. They just let them bleed forever and don't come in and seek care. So, if you see bleeding when you're brushing your teeth and spitting out your toothpaste, that's a sign that you need dental care," she says.

Haberkamp says you may also notice redness on your gums, tenderness in your gums and/or experience a little pain. You may even notice your teeth becoming loose, or perhaps, separating. Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth may also signal the early signs of gum disease.

Haberkamp says some people simply let tartar, or calculus, build up too long, which leads to bigger problems.

"Calculus formation, over time, can creep down under the gums and get on the root of the tooth and what this does is this replaces the bone that holds the tooth in," says Haberkamp.

Haberkamp says genetics make some people more prone to developing gum disease, but if you're brushing and flossing regularly and you have no symptoms you should be in good shape.
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