One of the most common, and often unaddressed, dental problems is gum disease. In fact, nearly half of all American adults have some form of gum disease. One of the reasons that this condition is so prevalent is because far too many people lack the full understanding of the signs and symptoms. As a result, they don't recognize that they have gum disease when it is in the early stages. This results in gum disease progressing into severe and widespread problems. Here's a look at what you should know about the signs and symptoms of gum disease so that you know when to call your dentist.

Do Your Gums Bleed?

One of the earliest signs of gum disease development starts when you're brushing your teeth. If you start to notice that your gums are bleeding, even if it's only a little bit or only occasionally, you might have early stages of gum disease. 

It's important that you rule out other factors, though. If you use a hard-bristled toothbrush, or you have been brushing your teeth too hard, that can also cause your gums to bleed. Before you raise any alarm bells, invest in a new, soft-bristled toothbrush and make sure that you aren't brushing your teeth too hard.

You should also make sure that you haven't suffered any kind of trauma to your gums. Even something as simple as eating chips or hard candy can cut your gums and cause bleeding. When you brush your teeth, you might open up that cut and cause it to bleed again. If you aren't sure what's causing your bleeding gums, reach out to your dentist to rule out gum disease.

Are Your Teeth Sensitive?

One of the most subtle indications that people overlook when it comes to signs of gum disease is a progressive sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods. If you've noticed that your teeth are becoming more sensitive to any of these things, that could mean that your gums have been affected by gum disease. When you have gum disease, your gums will recede away from the base of your teeth. This can expose some of the roots, which is what causes the sensitivity.

These are a couple of the most common and frequently dismissed signs of gum disease. If you have noticed either of these problems, you should reach out to a dentist office right away for more help and for a dental evaluation.