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7 Ways to tell if your Gums are in Bad Shape

are gums in bad shape

are gums in bad shapeSan Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA

Flip a coin. Is it heads or tails? That about sums up your chance of getting gum disease. Stemming from a bacterial infection in your gums, gum disease affects nearly half of Americans over the age of 30. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 47.2% of adults over 30 have some form of gum disease. If you develop this condition, getting prompt treatment is crucial to avoid permanent damage to your oral health. That’s why our Bay Area dentists that treat gum disease put together this list of seven ways to tell if your gums are in bad shape.

Inflamed or red gums

This is one of the major warning signs of gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease. Redness and inflammation are considered two of the primary indicators of gingivitis.

The good news about gingivitis is that you can reverse its effects by committing to good oral hygiene – brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and getting six-month checkups and cleanings.

Bleeding gums

If you notice your gums bleeding when you brush or floss, you need to see this as a major red flag. Along with inflammation, bleeding gums is another significant warning sign of gingivitis. If you see either of these, you need to schedule an appointment with your San Francisco family dentist as soon as possible, as gum disease is highly treatable while still in this stage.


Also known as chronic bad breath, halitosis can be an indicator of several different illnesses and conditions, including dry mouth and gastrointestinal problems. Halitosis is also a sign of gum disease, as the oral bacteria responsible for the gum infection emit a strong odor. Additionally, gum disease causes pockets to form below your gums, harboring oral bacteria that are difficult to remove on your own, resulting in bad breath.

Metallic taste

Typically, if you have a metallic taste in your mouth, what you’re tasting is actually blood. This means your gums may be bleeding. Frequently tasting a metallic taste in your mouth is reason enough to call your dentist for an appointment.

Loose teeth

Gingivitis progresses into the advanced stage of gum disease, periodontitis. By the time this develops, the gum tissue pulls away from your teeth, forming pockets that harbor bacteria and plaque. These pockets enlarge, allowing bacteria to infect your jawbone, loosen teeth, and enter your bloodstream. By this time, your teeth and mouth have sustained permanent damage, and your overall health is at risk. Studies show that untreated gum disease is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and respiratory illnesses.

Teeth of different sizes

Are you looking “long in the toot?” This could mean your gums are receding and pulling away from the base of your teeth. Receding gums also can lead to heightened tooth sensitivity, which leads us to our seventh and final warning sign.

Sensitive to temperature changes

Are you wincing when you eat or drink something hot or cold? This means the root or nerves in your tooth are more exposed than they should be—either because of receding gums or tooth decay. Cavities and gum disease tend to go hand in hand, so either way, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Periodontal Treatment in San Francisco

At Glen Park Dental, we understand the major threat that gum disease poses to oral health. We also believe the best defense against gum disease is prevention. However, if you develop gum disease, you need to seek periodontal treatment from a trained professional. Otherwise, you run the risk of tooth loss, bone loss and have an elevated risk factor of developing other serious ailments, including diabetes and even cardiac disease. We can provide various therapies and procedures to treat your gum disease, including laser therapy, a cosmetic gum lift, repetitive therapy, and more. If you have been diagnosed with gum disease or you’re noticing some of the signs above, schedule your consultation today by calling (415) 585-1500. Your oral health could be hanging in the balance.

Glen Park Dental is here to serve our patients in the areas of Oakland, San Francisco, and Marin in California.