Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease of the supporting tissues of the teeth. It is usually painless and comes with no noticeable symptoms. For this reason, it can be difficult to determine if you have the disease. Most of the symptoms of the disease may not be apparent until it reaches its advanced stage, known as periodontitis.
Signs of periodontal disease
It is common to hear people recommended caring for the teeth, but the gums are often neglected. The gums have an essential duty in oral health. Without proper oral hygiene, periodontal disease will set in and could wreak havoc on the teeth, gums and jawbone.
The symptoms may not be painful, but other warning signs may indicate you have gum disease. Knowing those signs, practicing proper oral hygiene and visiting the dentist are essential for preventing serious harm.
Sore, swollen or bleeding gums
Achy or bleeding gums are usually a sign of gum disease. Healthy gums should not bleed when brushing or flossing. Without regular oral care, dental plaque may accumulate on the teeth and eventually cause gum irritation. This could lead to bleeding, swelling or redness. Gum inflammation usually occurs in the first stage of periodontal disease and can be reversed.
Your teeth will not grow any longer once they are fully developed. With this in mind, they should not appear longer. However, gum disease may make the tooth look longer than they are since the gums supporting the teeth recede. Gum recession is the deterioration of gum tissues away from the teeth, leaving the root exposed. Receding gums are a major concern because it makes the teeth vulnerable to decay and infection.
Once the root surfaces are exposed, the tooth loses its cosmetic appeal and becomes sensitive. Healthy gums should fit firmly around the tooth. Advanced gum disease could alter the natural spacing of the teeth. It creates gaps between the teeth and gum that are known as periodontal pockets. These pockets can become infected and cause further harm.
Gum disease can cause pain in the teeth and gums when eating and drinking. Tooth sensitivity, also called dentin hypersensitivity, occurs when the tooth root is exposed and the enamel has worn down significantly. In many cases, gum recession and large pockets cause the condition. The dentin contains nerves that require protection of the enamel and gums. Once exposed, the pain can be excruciating.
Commonly called bad breath, halitosis could be a sign of poor dental health. It is caused by bacterial buildup, tooth decay or gum disease. Persistent bad breath is a result of the foul gases released by the bacteria in the mouth.
Preventing periodontal disease
Early detection is the easiest way to prevent gum disease. Treatments are most effective when the issue is caught early. If you wait to treat periodontal disease, the effects can be permanent. If you notice any of the symptoms above, call our office to schedule an appointment with the dentist.
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