Dental Blog

Symptoms and Stages: Discuss Gum Disease

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
signs of gum disease

Gum disease – silent, slick, and secretive this type of dental issue has major implications. Watching for gum disease symptoms and preventative care in a teeth cleaning are some of the best measures to prevent gum disease onset and development. It’s equally as important for patients to understand gum disease causes if they want to remain proactive in maintaining good oral health care. We’ve compiled a list of things you ought to know about the gum disease symptoms and stages before your next teeth cleaning. With years of experience and a reputation to match, Castle Dental provides excellent and affordable dental services to both prevent and treat any stage of gum disease. If you think you may have gum disease, or just want to know how to take the best care of your teeth, read along for signs and an overview of what to expect when gum disease is left untreated.

Gum Disease Symptoms

Knowing what to look for can help you determine whether you may or may not be developing gum disease, and if you should seek the advice of a professional dentist. Understanding gum disease symptoms can help you detect gum disease early, before it advances into a more serious condition that is often painful and/or irreversible. Gum disease is silent and secretive because it isn’t typically associated with any pain or discomfort. Patients can go months or even years without realizing they’ve begun to develop gum disease, and it usually takes the knowledge of a dentist during a teeth cleaning or checkup to inform patients of any gum disease formation. Being self-informed can help you take steps to prevent gum disease before your next teeth cleaning. If you’ve noticed the following symptoms, call your Castle dentist for a teeth cleaning or dental checkup to ensure the disease is properly diagnosed and treated.

Gum disease symptoms include:

  • Persistent bad breath or foul taste
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bleeding in gums after brushing or flossing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitivity from hot or cold temperatures
  • Receding gum line

These gum disease symptoms can be signs of a serious dental issue, and you should seek the advice from a dental professional as soon as possible. If you think you may be experiencing these symptoms, you can schedule a teeth cleaning or dental checkup where your dentist can examine your gums and look for any signs of inflammation or infection. Your dentist may also ask about your daily habits as well as your family history to determine if you’re at greater risk for developing gum disease, or if the symptoms are correlated to a different issue. Your dentist at Castle Dental may also perform what is known as a pocket reading to see if your gums are receding from your teeth. Pocket formations are a sign of more advanced gum disease that may be irreversible.

Some factors that can contribute to gum disease include:

  • Smoking. Smoking not only increases the likelihood of developing gum disease, but can also lead to unsuccessful treatment.
  • Genetic predisposition. Your family’s genetic history can leave your more or less prone to gum disease.
  • Diabetes. Those who suffer from diabetes are at a greater risk for infection. Gum disease is a dental infection that leave those with diabetes at greater risk.

Gum Disease Causes

Gum disease typically affects those between the ages of 30-40, but can also affect children. If left untreated, gum disease has major dental health implications, as well as other health issues down the road. Understanding the causes behind gum disease can give you the tools you’ll need to notice signs of change happening with your gum health, as well as what you can do to prevent the disease from occurring. The bacteria in your mouth are at the root behind gum disease. This bacteria produces plaque each time you consume a meal, leaving the residue behind. A buildup of this residue over time will begin to irritate the gums, especially if you are infrequent at brushing or flossing your teeth. If plaque is not removed fairly quickly from your teeth with brushing and flossing, it will begin to calcify into tartar – a much harder substance. This substance cannot be removed with regular brushing and flossing, and will require the aid of a dentist and professional teeth cleaning to remove the tartar from your enamel. It’s important to have both tartar and plaque removed frequently, as they are the culprits behind gum disease development.

Gum Disease

Okay, now that we’ve gone over what gum disease feels like and how it’s made, let’s take a look at what it actually means for your gums. Put simply, gum disease is inflammation of the gum line that can range in severity. That buildup of plaque and tartar irritate the gums and can create an infection. Gum disease happens in three stages – gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. From least to most severe, the stages of gum disease are as follows:

1. Gingivitis: The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis. This stage often goes undetected, as the symptoms are fairly mild and offer little to no discomfort. The trick to noticing gingivitis lies within the irritation of the gum line. At this point you may have gingivitis if you notice your gums are swollen, red, or bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. If you catch gingivitis early enough, it is treated with better at home oral care by incorporating regular and routine brushing and flossing into your practice. You may also want to visit the dentist for a teeth cleaning if you notice you’ve begun to develop gingivitis, as your dentist can remove any tartar that may have formed on your enamel, as well as teach you the proper ways to brush and floss your teeth for more effective results.

2. Periodontitis: When gingivitis is left untreated, it will develop into the following stage of gum disease – periodontitis. At this stage of gum disease, serious dental implications arise because the effects of the disease are irreversible. Periodontitis is a result of chronic inflammation in the gums as plaque and tartar have usually spread below the gum line. The toxins produced by plaque start to negatively impact the gums, as the supporting bone and connective tissue within their structure will start to weaken and deteriorate. The gums can start to separate from the teeth, forming deep pockets where plaque and food particles can get left behind, leaving a breeding ground for infection. At this stage the teeth may begin to loosen, as the gum structure holding them in place has weakened. However, it can still be difficult to notice full symptoms at this stage. Talking with your dentist about gum disease can help them put you on an oral health track with regular routine teeth cleanings and a boost in at home care.

3. Advanced Periodontitis: Once you’ve reached advanced periodontitis, the fibers and bones of your teeth are being destroyed and your teeth will shift and loosen. Losing the structure of your teeth can affect your bite, how you eat and chew, and affect your ability to communicate. If therapy from a periodontal dentist can’t save your existing teeth, they may need to be permanently removed.

Gum Disease Treatment

Treatment for gum disease varies at the level of development you’ve reached. Something mild like gingivitis is much easier to treat than advanced periodontitis. With gingivitis, the effects of gum disease are still reversible and the ability to recover often lies within the willpower of the patient to practice better oral health care. If you think you might be experiencing early signs of gum disease, searching for a dentist near me will show you several Castle Dental locations in your neighborhood, making scheduling an appointment for a checkup a breeze. Professional teeth cleanings allow your dentist to perform both scaling and root planing. These are practices in which the dentist will scrape away any plaque or tartar that has formed both above and below the gum line. They can remove rough spots on your enamel that have formed as well, which are spots that bacteria tend to accumulate much quicker. Laser treatments can also be used to remove tartar deposits, which is often a less painful treatment option your dentist can recommend. Medications have also been used to treat infection, ranging from mouthwashes, to gels, and antibiotics. The type of medication you should be using will depend on the extent of your infection and the recommendation of your dentist.

With some of the more advanced stages of gum disease, surgery is generally performed. There are a few types of surgery performed as kinds of methods to treat existing infection and prevent it from spreading and worsening further. Flap surgery is used when pockets have begun to form during periodontitis. This procedure allows your dentist to take gum tissue and cover the pockets that have formed to prevent plaque from getting caught in these areas and causing infections. Before the pockets are closed, your dentist should thoroughly clean the tooth and gum line. Following flap surgery is bone and tissue grafts are typically performed to control tooth roots that have become exposed. At this point, the surgery is used to regenerate or regrow bone and gum tissue that has been desiccated by gum disease. Sometimes tissue is also used to cover an exposed tooth root, which can be extremely sensitive to pain.

Dentist Near Me

The best way to avoid gum disease is to use preventative measures at home and schedule professional teeth cleanings at least twice a year. At home, you can use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day, following with floss. Visit your dentist at Castle Dental for a checkup and teeth cleaning if you fear you may be experiencing warning signs and symptoms of gum disease. You can make an appointment by visiting us online, or calling us at 1-800-867-6453. You have the power to prevent gum disease, and with the right care and guidance Castle Dental will help you remain gum disease free!