Do you have periodontal (gum) disease? It may be difficult to know for sure without the help of a dentist or periodontist. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums from a buildup of bacteria on and under the gums. When diagnosed and treated early it can be easily cured, but when left untreated it can result in severe oral problems including loss of teeth.
If you think you may have periodontal disease, you have probably noticed some or all of these 4 signs. Contact your dentist or periodontist if you have any of these symptoms.
- Bleeding gums. One of the most common signs of gum disease is bleeding gums. If your gums start to bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, it is an indication that your gums are not healthy. (If you’re not flossing regularly, a little bleeding that first time you floss is normal, but if it persists for many days or weeks it is not normal). When excess bacteria (more than the normal amount) builds up on the gums and under the gum line it can cause an infection. This infection may start mild, but it can progress to a serious level where the infection can spread through the bloodstream. The first indication that the gums are infected is bleeding.
- Red, swollen, or tender gums. In addition to bleeding, or even if you haven’t seen blood yet, your gums may appear red (instead of the normal pink color) and become swollen and tender. If brushing or flossing is painful, you may be in the early stages of gum disease. However, don’t be too quick to assume you have gum disease if your gums are sore after eating something that may have caused irritation. Have you bitten into a sandwich on toasted bread and now the gums around your front teeth are sore? This is normal and not periodontal disease. Did you bite into a piece of pizza that was too hot and now your gums and the roof of your mouth are burned? Again, this is not gum disease. Pain that persists for more than a few days or definitely over a week is more of a cause for concern and a reason to contact your dentist or periodontist.
- Receding gums. As the infection progresses your gums may start to pull away from your teeth. You may notice that your gums don’t seem to cover as much of your teeth as they once did. There may seem to be gaps between your teeth where they meet the gums that weren’t there before. You may even notice a ridge, line, or change in color on your teeth where your gums once were and now more of your tooth enamel is showing. This newly exposed part of your tooth may be sensitive to touch, cold, and heat. Once your gums have receded, the only way to correct the issue is through a surgical gum grafting procedure. This is why diagnosing and treating gum disease early is important.
- Loose teeth. Have some of your teeth begun to loosen? Perhaps a few have shifted or you can feel them move when you chew or brush your teeth. This is a sign of gum disease that has progressed far enough that the gums have completely pulled away from the teeth. If periodontal disease is not corrected, it could result in the permanent loss of permanent teeth. Once teeth are lost, your only option for replacement is artificial teeth like dental implants, bridges, or dentures. Avoid the costly, time consuming process of replacing teeth by having your gum disease treated as soon as you notice symptoms. Even if you don’t have dental insurance, the cost of seeing a dentist or periodontist to have mild gum disease treated will be significantly less than the cost of replacing lost teeth.
Golia Dental Provides Comprehensive Family Dentistry Services
If you notice any of these signs of gum disease, contact Golia Dental. Dr. Golia and staff have the training and experience to recognize the signs and symptoms of gum disease and take the necessary steps to cure it and prevent it from returning. Golia Dental provides comprehensive dental services for the whole family.
Call (203) 248-7400 today to schedule a consultation or request an appointment. We look forward to helping you achieve and maintain excellent oral health.