Periodontal disease is an extremely common inflammatory dental condition that is caused by plaque spreading onto the gum tissue. You may also hear of it referred to as gum disease, gingivitis, and periodontitis. Gum disease tends to be a general term, whilst gingivitis describes the condition in its earliest stage and periodontitis refers to advanced stage periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is most often seen in patients with poor dental hygiene. These individuals fail to brush their teeth for the recommended time/using the best techniques, causing an accumulation of bacteria and food particles to turn to a thin, sticky film on the teeth called plaque. When the plaque is allowed to spread, gum disease begins.
Treating gum disease promptly is very important. The condition is progressive, meaning that it will get much worse given the opportunity. And although the early symptoms of the condition are easily overlooked and ignored, there can be very serious consequences for patients if their periodontal disease reaches advanced stages. This is because the infection will attack the structures supporting the teeth – the gums, connective tissues and even the jaw bone itself, until the teeth fall out or require extraction. Studies have also found an indisputable link between periodontal disease and general health conditions affecting the body. This is because bacteria causing periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and travel around the body. Patients who have gum disease could be at greater risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, kidney/liver disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer.
As with all medical conditions, the earlier periodontal disease is detected, the more likely it is to be treated. Spotting it early can prevent damage to your teeth and overall health. Here’s what you need to know about the signs and symptoms of this progressive dental disease.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
In the early stages, the signs of periodontal disease are easily overlooked. However, if you notice any of the following, you should arrange to be seen by your dentist or hygienist as you could be starting to develop gum disease:
Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, floss or eat hard foods
As the condition progresses, other symptoms that you may begin to notice could include any or all of the following:
Gums that seem as though they are receding and pulling away from your teeth
Gums that persistently bleed when you brush/floss/eat
Pus between your gums and teeth
Sores in your mouth
Persistent bad breath
Changes in the way that your teeth fit together when you bite down
Dentures suddenly not fitting the way that they did before
Teeth that seem loose or are separating
If you are concerned that you may have any stage of gum disease, it is essential that you visit your dentist as soon as possible to obtain a diagnosis and see what treatment is available. Caught early enough, gum disease can potentially be reversed.
To find out more, please get in touch with our expert dental team in Joppa, MD today.