Gum disease is a common oral health problem that without treatment, can lead to gum recession and tooth loss. Periodontal care is important for treating gum disease and keeping the gums healthy.
Knowing the symptoms of gum disease is essential for patients so that they know when to seek treatment. At Desert Dental Alternatives, Dr. Bruno Lemay explains gum disease symptoms to patients in Cathedral City, CA, and surrounding areas and provides treatments to restore the health and beauty of their smiles.
With this in mind, let’s take a moment to consider some signs that you may have gum disease.
Bleeding when brushing or flossing is one of the most common and early signs of gum disease. Bleeding may be noticed when spitting out toothpaste or when flossing.
If toothpaste or floss is red tinged after use, it’s highly likely that gum disease is present.
Red, Inflamed Gums
Another early sign of gum disease in Cathedral City patients is red, inflamed gums. This is because gum disease is the result of a bacterial infection of the gums caused by the bacteria found in plaque.
Pus Between Teeth and Gums
As gum disease progresses, the signs become more pronounced and the infection will become more severe. For some, this can lead to pus between the teeth and gums.
Persistent Bad Breath
Another possible symptom of gum disease is persistent bad breath. Some people may also experience a persistent bad taste in their mouth as well.
Persistent bad breath is often a result of pronounced infection, which may include pus, tooth decay, and bleeding.
Pockets Between Teeth and Gums
Untreated gum disease often leads to pockets, or gaps, forming between the gums and teeth. Pockets are generally caused by plaque and tartar buildup at the gumline. As more plaque and tartar collect, they push the gums away from the teeth. This allows more plaque and tartar to settle between the gums and teeth, eventually creating a pocket.
When pockets are left untreated, they can lead to gum recession. Gum recession is a loss of gum tissue. In severe cases, the gums may recede to a point where the root of the tooth is exposed. This allows bacteria to reach the root and weakens the structures that hold the tooth in place, significantly increasing the risk of tooth loss.
Loose or Shifting Teeth
Loose or shifting teeth are another sign of gum disease that should not be ignored. The teeth may become loose or shift in place when the structures supporting the teeth, including gum tissue and the jawbone, are infected and damaged by gum disease.
Treatments for Gum Disease
It’s important to seek treatment at the first signs of gum disease. In the earliest stages, brushing and flossing routinely may be sufficient to stop bleeding and restore gum health. When brushing and flossing alone are not enough, other treatments are available such as:
- Scaling and root planing
- Pocket irrigation
- Pocket reduction
Contact Desert Dental Alternatives
If you suspect you have gum disease and would like to learn more about treatment options, call (760) 324-4450 to schedule a consultation at our Cathedral City office.