Common Signs of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease affects many people, but most of them fail to recognize the common signs of the problem. It is among the biggest threat to dental health and can result in bone and tooth loss if untreated. Fortunately, it is preventable, and recognizing its common signs can help you seek early treatment. Read on to learn more.



What Is Periodontal Disease?



Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is a gum infection that can damage the bone supporting and surrounding the teeth.



Causes of Periodontal Disease



The mouth is full of bacteria that can combine with food particles and mucus to form a sticky substance called plaque on the teeth. Consistent brushing and flossing help to remove the plaque. But if unremoved, the plaque can harden to form tartar that brushing or flossing cannot clean out. As a result, you may only get the tartar removed through professional cleaning done by a dental hygienist or a dentist.


Gum disease has various risk factors. However, the most significant is smoking. It makes treatment less effective. Other risk factors include hormonal changes in females. Diabetes, certain medications, genetic susceptibility, or diseases such as AIDS can also increase your risk.



Common Signs of Periodontal Disease



The following are the common signs that may mean you have periodontal disease:


  • Bad breath - The accumulated plaque on your teeth feeds on dangerous anaerobic bacteria that multiply in the mouth. The oral bacteria produce an odor that causes bad breath.
  • Formation of abscess - The localized collection of pus is an abscess. If left untreated, it spreads and causes facial infections.
  • Loose teeth - Your teeth can loosen in the advanced stages of periodontal disease. As a result, eating can be painful and difficult.
  • Bleeding gums - Plaque buildup along the gumline causes the gums to be tender and swollen. As a result, they bleed whenever you brush your teeth.
  • Gum pockets - Periodontal disease breaks down the tissue and bone that supports your teeth, causing pockets. They deepen with time and create more space for bacteria.
  • Receding gums - Gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that harbor bacteria.




During your dental visit, your dental hygienist or dentist will start by examining your gums to check for signs of inflammation. They will check if you have pockets around your teeth by using a tool called a probe that looks like a tiny ruler. The depth of gum pockets in a healthy mouth should be between one to three millimeters. The test is usually painless.


Your specialist will ask you about your medical history so they can know the risk factors or conditions that may lead to gum disease. They may also order an X-ray to check whether you have bone loss. After doing so, they will refer you to an expert who can diagnose and treat your gum disease.






Periodontal disease treatment aims at controlling the infection in your gums. The treatment types vary based on the severity of the gum disease.


All treatment types will require you to maintain proper oral hygiene. You will need to brush your teeth twice and floss every day. Your dentist will also recommend that you stop some lifestyle habits such as smoking to improve the results you get from the treatment.


For more about periodontal disease, visit Perio Atlanta at our office in Atlanta, Georgia. Call (404) 352-3123 to book an appointment today.

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