Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is caused by bacteria formed in plaque buildup on your teeth. This bacteria causes inflammation in the gums and can lead to more serious problems if not treated. Gum disease may occur at any age, but is most common in adults. See your periodontist in Salt Lake City right away if you notice any of the gum disease symptoms listed below.
Gum Disease Symptoms
Visit your dentist regularly for plaque removal and be sure to tell him/her if you have been experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Swollen, bright red or purplish gums
- Gums that feel tender when touched
- Bleeding during brushing or flossing
- Teeth that look longer because gums are receding
- Gums that have pulled away from teeth and created a pocket
- New spaces between teeth
- Loose teeth
- Pain when chewing
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Pus around teeth and gums
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth that doesn’t go away
Stages of Gum Disease
If left untreated, gum disease can lead to loss of teeth and bone tissue. Fortunately, if gum disease is recognized early on, the effects can often be reversed with good oral hygiene and periodontal treatment.
Stage One: Gingivitis
In the first stage of gum disease, your gums will be swollen from inflammation and appear bright red or have a purple tint. You will also notice that your gums bleed when brushing and flossing. If your daily oral hygiene is not sufficiently removing the plaque from your teeth, it can produce toxins that irritate the gum tissue and cause gingivitis. Fortunately, in this stage the bones and tissue that connect to the teeth have not yet been damaged, so it is usually reversible with periodontal treatment.
Stage Two: Periodontitis
In this stage, the gums begin to pull away from the bottom of the teeth and form pockets that catch food and plaque. The supporting bone and connective tissue are damaged beyond repair. The good news is that periodontal treatment, regular plaque removal, and good oral hygiene can prevent further damage. At this stage, periodontal treatment is not just helpful, it’s necessary.
Stage Three: Advanced Periodontitis
By the time gum disease symptoms have reached this stage, the bone and supporting fibers are severely damaged and the teeth may come loose or shift position. You will probably feel pain when eating, and teeth will most likely fall out or need to be removed. Serious intervention may be required to remove all the infection from your mouth.
South Temple Dental, your periodontist in Salt Lake City, UT, is happy to answer any questions you have about gum disease symptoms and periodontal treatment. Contact us today to request an appointment!