Gum Disease (cont.)
In this Article
- Gingivitis introduction
- What's the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis?
- What causes periodontal disease?
- What are the symptoms and signs of periodontal disease?
- How does my dentist diagnose periodontal disease?
- How is periodontal disease treated?
- How can gingivitis be prevented?
- Is periodontal disease linked to other health problems?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Gum disease may progress painlessly, producing few obvious signs, even in the late stages of the disease. Although the symptoms of periodontal disease often are subtle, the condition is not entirely without warning signs. Certain symptoms may point to some form of the disease. The symptoms of gum disease include:
- Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures.
Even if you don't notice any symptoms, you may still have some degree of gum disease. In some people, gum disease may affect only certain teeth, such as the molars. Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease.
How Does My Dentist Diagnose Gum Disease?
During a dental exam, your dentist typically checks for these things:
- Gum bleeding, swelling, firmness, and pockets (the space between the gum and tooth; the larger and deeper the pocket, the more severe the disease)
- Teeth movement and sensitivity and proper teeth alignment
- Your jawbone to help detect the breakdown of bone surrounding your teeth
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
The goals of gum disease treatment are to promote reattachment of healthy gums to teeth; reduce swelling, the depth of pockets, and the risk of infection; and to stop disease progression. Treatment options depend on the stage of disease, how you may have responded to earlier treatments, and your overall health. Options range from nonsurgical therapies that control bacterial growth to surgery to restore supportive tissues. A full description of the various treatment options is provided in Gum Disease Treatments.
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