Gum health is an important topic that we discuss with patients during routine visits. This is because millions of people each year (almost 50% of the population) has some form of gum disease. This could be slight inflammation of the superficial gingival tissue, or it may be a more advanced infection that threatens the overall stability and vitality of teeth. These are the two most common gum-related problems that people are taught about. But there’s more...
According to the American Cancer Society, just less than 40,000 cases of gum cancer are expected to be diagnosed this year. There are significant differences between gingivitis and gum cancer in terms of treatment and threat to overall health. This is why we want our Huntington Beach patients to know how to differentiate the signs and symptoms of each.
This early form of gum disease is so subtle that it is often overlooked. You may notice that your gums look a little red, but this can easily be written-off as their “natural shade.” Here is a hint: if your gums are not light pink, but more of a muddled red, you may have gingivitis. Another common sign that tends to be reduced to floss or brushing technique is bleeding. Of course, you should be gentle with your brushing; but, regardless, your gums also should not bleed and will only do so if you have gingivitis. Because there is no discomfort associated with gingivitis, it is important to pay attention to these signs.
Gum cancer is one of several forms of oral cancer. This condition may occur in any of the soft tissues of your mouth. When abnormal cells grow on the gums, there is no pain, just like gingivitis. However, a key difference between inflammation and unhealthy cells is the development of lesions, small sores, on the gums. These may look like red or white patches that persist for more than two weeks. If you notice any discoloration of your gums, keep a close eye on the area. Better yet, call our Huntington Beach office to schedule a thorough exam of your mouth.
We are here to help you avoid unhealthy oral conditions. Call (714) 848-4247 for personal care from our experienced dental team.
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