Periodontal disease, or gum disease, can be incredibly concerning and lead to other, more severe oral health issues if left untreated for an extended amount of time. Consequently, it is important to fully understand the various signs and symptoms of periodontal disease in order to be able to spot periodontal disease as soon as it…
Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease During Your General Dentistry Exam
Periodontal disease results from constant bacterial attacks on the gums. This damages the gums and the underlying jawbone, which are vital for supporting teeth. It is important to notice the warning signs of periodontal disease to ensure that your general dentist can take the proper steps to get the disease in order and prevent it from progressing.
Periodontal disease signs that a dentist checks for during an exam
The signs of periodontal disease include gum sensitivity, gum bleeding, gum swelling, gum discoloration, and gum recession. Certain symptoms can appear before others. General dentists can check for all the warning signs during general dentistry exams, which are encouraged several times a year.
Gum sensitivity is an early warning sign that one may experience once the periodontal disease begins to develop. It can make the gums feel tender to the touch, and they may become increasingly sensitive when exposed to hot or cold foods or weather conditions.
Gum swelling is an early sign of periodontal disease. It occurs when the gums are damaged and weakened by the bacteria inside the mouth. It also contributes to the tenderness and sensitivity that many people report in the early stages of periodontal disease.
Gum bleeding occurs when the gums are weakened due to a build-up of plaque and tartar along the gum line and the development of gingivitis, which is a milder form of periodontal disease. Gums should not bleed unless pressure is placed upon them. The most notable time that gum bleeding occurs as a result of periodontal disease is while the individual is brushing or flossing.
The gums should be a pinkish color. When gums are damaged by periodontal disease, they often turn a darker red color. This often goes along with other signs of periodontal disease and is something that the general dentist will check for during an exam.
Gum recession is a more severe symptom of periodontal disease and is typically the result of periodontitis (rather than gingivitis). It occurs when the gums start to pull away from the crown of teeth due to being damaged by bacterial attacks caused by plaque and tartar.
Deep gum pockets
Deep gum pockets occur when the gums in between teeth (in the pockets) are damaged by periodontal disease. This can weaken the support system for teeth and put the long-term health of teeth in jeopardy.
Bone loss in the jaw
Bone loss in the jaw requires dental X-rays to detect, and it is a common symptom of periodontitis. The jawbone, along with the gums, serves an important role in supporting teeth, so bone loss is considered a severe symptom of periodontal disease.
Schedule a general dentistry exam today
If you have any concerns with your periodontal health or have gone more than six months since your last general dentistry exam, call our team today to schedule a visit. We can provide a detailed examination of your gums and may order dental X-rays to determine the health of your underlying jawbone.
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