Gum disease is a serious condition that can wreak havoc on your oral health. It often approaches silently, meaning symptoms may not appear until the condition is advanced. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that half of all Americans over the age of thirty suffer from periodontal disease. A periodontist can accurately diagnose and treat the various stages of this condition. Gum treatment options depend on the severity of the condition at the time of diagnosis. It is helpful to know the symptoms of gum disease, so you can intervene early.
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. At this early stage, the condition is typically still reversible with proper care. Symptoms of gingivitis include irritated, swollen or tender gums that may bleed when you brush or floss. Depending on how advanced the condition is, your gumline may begin to recede and you could have chronic bad breath.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it will advance into a condition known as periodontitis. At this stage gums may become bright red and tender to the touch. Pus may begin to build up between the teeth and gums causing soft tissue damage in the oral cavity. Persistent bad breath may occur and your teeth may become loose due to supporting tissue damage.
This is the final and most serious stage of gum disease. Advanced periodontitis is characterized by bone loss and deep periodontal pockets. The combination of these symptoms with severely receding gums allow the teeth to become loose and shift. Tooth loss can occur at this stage.
Knowing the symptoms of gum disease can alert you to the first signs of gingivitis. It is important to visit a periodontist for an exam and possible gum treatment. This type of early intervention can prevent the need for more invasive procedures in the future. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact our office today. Prevention is the best defense against gum disease.