Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a common oral health condition that affects the gums and bones that support the teeth. If left untreated, this problem can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems.
Understanding periodontal disease symptoms is essential to prevent its progression and maintain good oral health. Here are some of the things you need to know about periodontal disease!
The early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis, which occurs through inflammation of the gum tissue. Symptoms of gingivitis may include red, swollen, and tender gums that bleed easily during brushing or flossing. Some people may also experience bad breath or a persistent unpleasant taste in their mouth. Another common complaint people with gingivitis have is itchiness in the lining of the gum tissue.
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. Symptoms of periodontitis may include receding gums, pronounced pockets between the teeth and gums, and loose or shifting teeth. Patients may experience pain or discomfort when biting or chewing in advanced cases.
Other symptoms of periodontal disease may include:
Sensitive Teeth: As the gum tissue and bone recede, the tooth root becomes exposed, which can cause sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks.
Changes in Bite: As the teeth become loose and shift, it can affect how they come together when biting or chewing.
Abscesses: An abscess is a pocket of pus that can form in the gum tissue or bone. It is often a sign of a bacterial infection and can cause pain, swelling, and pus discharge.
Gingival Hyperplasia: This is a condition in which the gums become enlarged and begin to cover more of the teeth.
Gum Recession: As gum disease progresses, the gums can recede, exposing more of the tooth root.
It is important to note that not everyone with periodontal disease will experience all of these symptoms. Some people may have only mild symptoms, while others may have more severe symptoms. Some people may not experience symptoms, so regular dental checkups are essential in detecting and treating periodontal disease.
Suppose you notice any of the symptoms of periodontal disease. In that case, scheduling an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible is essential. Early detection and treatment can help prevent the progression of gum disease and maintain good oral health. Treatment options may include deep cleaning (scaling and root planing), antibiotics, and in severe cases, surgery.
In addition to seeking professional dental care, there are also steps you can take at home to prevent and manage periodontal disease. These include:
- Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Flossing daily to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth.
- Using an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Eating a healthy diet that is low in sugar and high in nutrients.
- Quitting smoking or dipping tobacco, as the damaging effects of the substance, is a significant risk factor for gum disease.
Understanding gum disease symptoms is essential to prevent its progression and maintain good oral health. Suppose you notice any of the symptoms of periodontal disease. In that case, scheduling an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible is critical.
Regular professional cleanings at least twice a year, a healthy lifestyle, dental checkups, and persistent at-home cleanings significantly reduce your chances of dealing with gum disease. Remember, once gum disease sets in, it is impossible to reverse without professional help. The longer you wait, the worse and more expensive the damage caused by periodontitis will become!