3 Signs Your Gums May Need A Little Extra Care On Your Next Dental Visit

Your teeth are probably the main focus at your regular dental checkups, but your gums are super important too. As long as they stay healthy, your dentist may not do much with them, other than measuring your gum pockets and telling you to floss frequently, but if your gums start displaying any of these symptoms, it may be time to pay them some attention.

1. They've become more sensitive

A drop of blood every once in a while could just mean you flossed too hard by mistake. But if your gums are starting to bleed more and more when you floss and they seem to have lasting irritation from the flossing, as evidenced by soreness throughout the day, you could have something more going on, so it's worth mentioning to your dentist.

Gums can become more sensitive because they're inflamed due to gingivitis. If this is the case, your dentist may recommend additional dental cleanings or even a special cleaning that includes something called planing. This helps keep any incipient gum disease from worsening and damaging your bone structure.

2. They're a bit lower than before

If you look at your smile one day and wonder when your front teeth got so long, you could be experiencing gum recession. This can come in mild or more severe forms, and there are several possible causes. One is nighttime tooth grinding, and another is gum disease. Be sure to talk to your dentist about it if you suspect there's a problem; he or she can easily re-check your gum pocket measurements and compare them against your last measurements.

Of course, sometimes your gums can recede so slowly that you won't notice at first, so your dentist's gum measurements may be the first sign you have receding gums.

3. They appear red or inflamed

Yes, your gums should have a healthy, pink appearance. But if they're looking maybe a little brighter than usual, that could be redness brought on by inflammation. Slight swelling and tenderness to the touch are other possible signs of inflammation. This often goes hand in hand with increased sensitivity, and in some cases (such as gingivitis) all three could appear.

These are three signs your gums may require increased scrutiny and attention from your dentist at your next checkup. If any of these symptoms are marked or start to bother you, you might even want to have your next dental visit a little sooner than planned. Contact a dentist like Elizabeth Loseke DDS to learn more.