Periodontal Disease Symptoms You Don’t Want to Ignore

Your gums play a vital role in keeping your smile healthy. Periodontal (gum) disease can wreck that role. If left too long, it can eventually result in tooth loss and open the door to severe, even life-threatening infections.

You may not notice the early warning signs, or take them seriously, but catching symptoms at the onset of periodontal disease gives you the best shot at stopping what can become a very serious and painful condition. The oral health care experts at Meadowbrook Dental Care are happy to share a few tips about spotting gum disease and how it’s treated.

It starts with gingivitis

The gingiva is the portion of your gums that surround the base of your teeth. Healthy gums are light pink and fit tightly against teeth. If the gingival portion of your gums is red, puffy, or bleeds when you brush or take a bite of something crunchy, you’re experiencing the first stages of gum disease, which is gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).

Gingivitis is most often a result of poor oral hygiene and can occur when you don’t brush or floss routinely or visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings. It’s caused by a buildup of bacteria-containing plaque that rests near the gumline.

If not removed, this plaque eventually hardens into tartar, which essentially protects the tooth-decaying bacteria so that it can multiply and thrive. It also causes your gums to become irritated and swollen. As the disease progresses, your gums begin to pull away from your teeth and lose their protective abilities.

Other symptoms of gingivitis include:

Once plaque forms into tarter, it can only be removed by an oral health care professional. If ignored, gingivitis can advance toward more serious gum disease and tooth loss.  

And then comes periodontitis

When left untreated, gingivitis can eventually advance to what’s known as periodontitis. This stage of gum disease occurs when pockets develop between your gums and your teeth and fill with plaque, tartar, and bacteria. These pockets deepen over time and can lead to infections that affect your tooth structures under the gumline and can eventually cause tissue, tooth, and jawbone loss.   

Symptoms of periodontitis include:

With worsening gum disease, you may also notice pain with chewing even soft foods, visible pus along your gums, and a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down.


And the good news

Your Meadowbrook Dental Care expert can reverse the progression of early gingivitis with a professional cleaning that removes plaque and tartar buildup as well as the bacterial byproducts that are causing your gums to pull away from your teeth. Once these irritating substances are removed, your gums return to their healthy, tooth-protective state. 

More advanced causes of gum disease typically require more extensive treatment that may include:

There are also surgical remedies available for problems caused by the most advanced cases of gum disease. These may include bone grafting procedures to regenerate lost bone tissue in your jaw or restoration of gum tissue through skin grafts.

Whether your gums are showing signs of early gingivitis or you’ve noticed advancing symptoms, we can help. Schedule an appointment with Meadowbrook Dental Care today.

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