Jun 26, 2022

What Are Some Of The Early Warning Signs Of Periodontal Disease?

What Is Periodontal Disease?

It is a term in dentistry referring to infections of the soft tissues in the oral cavity. The infection commonly begins with the gum tissue, hence gum disease. However, periodontal disease concerns a broader spectrum of bacterial infection in the mouth that impacts the health of your jawbone. The periodontal disease exists in two main forms, that is:
  1. Gingivitis – is the initial stage of periodontal disease. It is often subtle, hence why many cases go undiagnosed and untreated.
  2. Periodontitis – is an advanced stage of periodontal disease. It occurs when gingivitis remains untreated for a long time, progressing and worsens. Periodontitis has severe dental consequences, including tooth loss.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Various factors contribute to gum disease. However, there isn’t one known factor that can be blamed for gum disease. The different factors that increase your risk of periodontal illnesses are:
  1. Poor oral hygiene – is the leading risk factor for gum disease. Poor dental hygiene leads buildup of food residues in your mouth. When they combine with saliva and bacteria present in the oral cavity, they form a sticky substance called plaque. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar, slowly causing gum infections.
  2. Genetics – some people’s genes predispose them to gum infections.
  3. Underlying health issues – diabetic patients, for example, have a significantly higher risk of getting periodontal disease than healthy people.
  4. Smoking – tobacco smokers are more than 50% more likely to get gum infections than non-smokers.
  5. Excessive consumption of alcohol for a prolonged period
  6. Hormonal changes – women can easily get gum disease due to fluctuations in their hormonal components. It is usually the case during pregnancy, menopause, or puberty.

Early Warning Signs of Gum Disease

Detecting periodontal disease symptoms early helps you get ahead of the infection to prevent irreversible oral complications. The key is to catch the infection before it advances to periodontitis. Some of the early warning signs of gum infection are:
  1. Bad breath: if you do not have cavities on your teeth, the bad smell from your mouth could be due to an infection in your gum tissue.
  2. Swollen gums: the body’s immune system will begin to respond to the bacterial infection in your gums through inflammation.
  3. Bleeding gums: if you do not have an open wound or a dental injury, you should not be bleeding in your mouth. Bleeding gums are usually a sign of an imminent infection. You are likely to notice streaks of blood on your toothbrush or fruits like apples.
  4. Painful chewing: periodontal infection will cause tender gums and jaw pain. It can make it difficult to chew or bite foods.
  5. Receding gums: if you begin to notice that your gums are receding, it is an indication that the infection is worsening. Your gums will pull away from the teeth, exposing more tooth roots. One way to tell you have receded gums is by considering the length of your teeth. If they look longer than they usually are, contact your dentist in Oak Lawn for treatment. Another way is by noticing the lines or notches at the bottom of your teeth near the gum line.
  6. Reddened gums – gum disease will cause your gums to be redder than usual.
  7. Mouth sores – mouth sores that persistently keep coming back are a serious symptom of an underlying condition. In worse-case scenarios, the mouth sores could also be an early sign of oral cancer.

Gum Disease Treatment at Family Dental Care

The good news is that we can treat all stages of gum disease at Family Dental Care – Oak Lawn. However, we have more successful treatments with gingivitis since the consequences of the infection are reversible. Some treatments options for gum disease are:
  1. Antibiotics – to kill the bacteria in the mouth.
  2. Professional deep cleaning – entails root planing and scaling. These procedures scrape plaque and tartar from teeth surfaces.
  3. Gum graft surgery – to repair receded gums. The procedure will entail extracting graft tissue from a different part of your mouth to restore the damaged portion.
  4. Bone graft surgery – is a surgical procedure for periodontitis to repair damaged bone tissue.

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