Do you want to know if you have gum disease, which is another name for periodontal disease? You need to know what this common dental problem looks like before it gets worse. This will give you a better chance of fixing the problem without needing a lot of dental work.

When gum disease is caught early, it is much easier to take care of. People often ignore the signs of gum disease because they don’t know what they are. When this happens, they need more serious dental care, like a deep cleaning.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease has four different stages. Gingivitis is the first stage, slight periodontal disease is the second, moderate periodontal disease is the third, and advanced periodontal disease is the fourth and final stage. For the first stage, you need professional dental cleaning and better oral care at home. Scaling and planing is a more thorough way to clean teeth that are used to treat the second and third stages. In the fourth stage of periodontal disease, deep pockets filled with bacteria need to be cleaned out with surgery.

Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease

Here is a list of some of the most common signs that you might have periodontal disease.

Gum Swelling & Inflammation: Red, swollen, tender, and sensitive gums are signs of gum disease. These signs are caused by the buildup of bacteria, which leads to plaque and, eventually, tartar. Tartar releases toxins in the mouth, which is why these signs show up.

Bleeding gums: One of the most common signs of gum disease is that the gums bleed when you brush, floss, or eat. Some bleeding is normal, but a lot of bleeding or bleeding that keeps coming back is a sign of gum disease.

Bad Breath: Too many bacteria in the mouth can cause bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth that lasts for a long time.

Loose teeth: Gum disease often causes loose teeth because it attacks the bones in the mouth that hold the teeth in place.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Let’s look at some questions that are often asked about periodontal disease.

What is a disease of the gums?
Periodontal disease is a general term for a number of gum conditions that cause inflammation. Gingivitis, a disease of the gums, is the most common type of periodontal disease. If gingivitis isn’t treated, it can lead to periodontitis, which is a more serious condition that can hurt the bones and connective tissues that hold teeth in place.

What are the signs and symptoms of gum disease?
The most common sign of gum disease is gums that bleed. Other signs of gum disease include gums that are red, swollen, or painful, gums that pull away from the teeth, bad breath, and loose teeth.

What makes gum disease happen?
Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that always forms on the teeth, is the main cause of periodontal disease. If you don’t get rid of plaque, it can harden into calculus (tartar). A dentist is the only one who can get rid of tartar. Plaque and tartar are irritating to the gums, which makes them red and swollen. The inflammation can lead to periodontitis in the long run.

How is periodontal disease diagnosed?
Most of the time, periodontal disease is found during a dental exam. The dentist or dental hygienist will measure the depth of the “pockets” between the gums and teeth to see if they have gotten deeper over time. They may also look for signs of bone loss with X-rays.

How do you treat periodontal disease?
The best way to treat periodontal disease depends on how bad it is. Gingivitis can be stopped in its early stages with good oral hygiene and regular cleanings by a dentist. In the later stages of periodontitis, you may need more extensive treatments, such as scaling and root planing (a deep cleaning), antibiotics, or surgery.

Can you avoid getting gum disease?
Yes, the best way to avoid periodontal disease is to take care of your teeth and gums every day. This means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing every day, and going to the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.

Do you need to be checked for gum disease?
If you think you have periodontal disease, the next step is to make an appointment with a dentist who has a lot of experience to look at your mouth in depth. The dentist can tell you how healthy your mouth is right now, including if you really do have gum disease.

If you are told you have gum disease, you will be told what stage it is in and what kind of treatment you will need to get your mouth healthy again. Know that gum disease will be much easier to treat if it is in its early stages. Because of this, we want you to set up an appointment as soon as possible.

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