Know the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

The health of your gums is closely tied to your overall health. That is why it is so important to know about the symptoms of periodontal disease. In El Paso, TX, periodontist Dr. Bruce Gopin educates patients about this important aspect of their health and provides expert periodontal treatments. Also called gum disease, periodontal disease is triggered when bacteria in plaque and tartar build up along the gum line. Periodontal disease can range from mild to severe, with symptoms that include inflammation of the gums, red and swollen gums, and gums that bleed easily. Symptoms become more serious as the disease progresses, and can eventually lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Fortunately, this condition is highly treatable at our periodontal practice. If you are experiencing symptoms of periodontal disease, or if you have been diagnosed and are seeking quality care, please contact us to discuss treatment options with Dr. Gopin. 

About Periodontal Disease

Every mouth contains bacteria. Keeping your teeth clean with regular brushing and flossing controls the amount of bacteria in your mouth and helps maintain oral health. Even so, the bacteria is constantly combining with other particles in your mouth to form a colorless film on your teeth called plaque. When plaque it not removed, it hardens into tartar, which can only be cleared away with a professional dental cleaning. Plaque and tartar building up along your gum line often goes unnoticed. But if they stay on your teeth for too long, your gums will begin to exhibit signs of gum disease.

Early Symptoms

Early gum disease is called gingivitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Tender, sensitive gums
  • Gums that are red or swollen
  • Gums that bleed easily, especially with brushing and flossing
  • A persistent bad taste in the mouth
  • Chronic bad breath

We can treat gingivitis with a thorough hygienic cleaning or a procedure known as root planing and scaling. As long as you follow up with good at-home oral healthcare, you should be able to stay free of gum disease.

Advanced Symptoms

If your gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to the more serious form of periodontal disease, called periodontitis. This occurs when the bacteria in the plaque and tartar spread under the gum line and affect the teeth’s supporting structures. Symptoms of periodontitis include:

  • Gums that are pulling away from the teeth (may cause teeth to appear longer)
  • Visible pockets forming around the teeth
  • Visible spaces between the teeth
  • Loose or shifting teeth

The word periodontitis means inflammation around the tooth. In the most advanced stages, the inflammation causes bone and gum tissue to break down. Teeth will eventually fall out, or they will need to be removed.

Health Effects

It is best for your oral health to retain your natural teeth. Even the loss of one adult tooth from periodontal disease can destabilize your remaining teeth and potentially lead to more tooth loss and other problems like bite misalignment. Multiple missing teeth can allow your jawbone to deteriorate, since the tooth roots are no longer signaling the body to send nutrients to the area. Missing teeth can also lead to problems with speaking and eating, and to poor nutrition. In addition, a growing body of research associates gum disease with other health problems including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even dementia. Although the link is not completely clear, experts agree that maintaining good oral health contributes to good health overall.

Take Care of Your Gums

Dr. Gopin performs regular periodontal screenings for his patients to detect signs of gum disease. Although it is easiest to correct when caught early, this common condition can still be improved in more advanced stages with nonsurgical and surgical gum treatments. Dr. Gopin uses advanced treatment methods that are both effective and comfortable. To schedule a consultation, contact our friendly, dedicated staff today.

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