What Are Some Early Signs of Gum Disease?

by | Apr 21, 2015

Do You Have Early Signs of Gum Disease?

Are you worried you’re noticing early signs of gum disease? You’re not alone. Many patients experience early signs of gum disease and oral degradation. However, many of those patients fail to react in a timely manner.

Periodontal disease, also known simply as gum disease, is a very common oral health concern for many individuals. In fact, many adults in the United States currently have some form of the disease. Periodontal disease actually covers a wide range of complications that vary from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that may result in severe damage to the bone and soft tissue essential for supporting healthy teeth.

Gum disease is heavily impacted by an individual’s attention to oral health and proper hygiene. Gum disease may get better or worse depending on the attention paid to the situation, but having good habits can minimize the risk of ever contracting the disease in the first place.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Your mouth is constantly full of bacteria. Plaque develops on the teeth from a combination of this bacteria as well as mucus and other material. Plaque is removed through regular brushing and flossing habits, but plaque can harden and form tartar, especially if the teeth are not regularly brushed and flossed. Tartar is best handled by a professional dentist.

Plaque and tartar become major problems for the teeth and gums the longer they stay in place without treatment. The bacteria may cause inflammation of the gums, also known as gingivitis. Gingivitis leaves the gums sensitive to bleeding and swelling. Gingivitis is considered a mild form of gum disease and can be treated through proper attention to brushing and flossing and/or involvement from a professional dentist.

Untreated gingivitis, however, may lead to a more serious condition known as periodontitis. Periodontitis refers to inflammation of the tooth and causes the gums to pull away from the teeth leaving spaces, or pockets, that become infected. This is such a serious condition, particularly because the plaque begins to spread below the gum line. As the body responds to the infection and bacterial toxins, the bone begins to break down and connective tissue may be damaged that holds the teeth in place. It is possible if left untreated for the bones, tissue, and gums to be damaged permanently and teeth to be lost as a result.

Before and After oral signs of gum disease treatment

Risk Factors for Gum Disease

There are many reasons why periodontal disease, or gum disease, can become a serious issue for certain individuals. Here are some risk factors that leave you especially susceptible to a condition such as periodontal disease:

  • Improper Oral Hygiene: It is very important to take care of your teeth and gums through regular brushing and flossing. While there are some risk factors beyond your control, this one never is.
  • Hormonal Changes: Girls and women are susceptible to gingivitis due to teeth and gum sensitivity when going through certain hormonal changes. Extra attention to oral hygiene can help correct this.
  • Smoking: Smoking not only increases the risk of developing gum disease, but it also lowers the chance of successfully treating it. Smoking may also increase the risk of other oral health concerns, such as oral cancer.
  • Genetic Susceptibility: Unfortunately, some individuals are just genetically more susceptible to gum disease than others. The best thing you can do in this situation is paid particular attention to the health of your teeth and gums with proper hygiene.
  • Diabetes: Diabetic individuals are more prone to infections, including periodontal disease.
  • Medication Side Effects: There are many medications that reduce the flow of saliva in the mouth. Reduced flow of saliva may leave the mouth more susceptible to infections, including gum disease.

Early Signs of Gum Disease

Symptoms and early signs of gum disease include:

  • Sensitive gums, particularly if they are red and swollen
  • Gum bleeding
  • Bad breath that seems unable to correct through normal means
  • Sensitive or loose teeth
  • Pain experienced during chewing
  • Receding gum line

These symptoms generally are obvious indicators of gum disease for dentists, particularly when the individual is experiencing more than just one symptom. As soon as you suspect any kind of dental or oral health problem, you should consult with your dentist immediately.

Treatment for Gum Disease

Your dentist also evaluates your situation and provides recommendations on ways to manage your condition. This includes ways to manage gum disease without major treatment such as surgery. If you approach your dentist with a problem as soon as it is noticed, likely your dentist can recommend some lifestyle or hygiene changes to correct the problem without more invasive means.

In other cases, a dentist may simply be able to prescribe certain medications to correct the issue. There are many different options and your dentist will choose one for you based on your unique situation.

In the event that the problem is more serious, especially if major damage has been done to the teeth, connective tissue, gums, and/or teeth, your dentist may need to perform oral surgery. Some examples include flap surgery and bone/tissue grafts.

The best way to avoid surgery is to maintain healthy oral hygiene, visit your dentist regularly, and inform your dentist of a problem at the earliest sign of the issue.

Best Way to Prevent Gum Disease

The best way to prevent gum disease is to be proactive. Take care of your teeth regularly with proper brushing and flossing habits. Visit your dentist regularly, and always make an appointment if you suspect a problem.

City Dental Centers screens for signs of gum disease during checkups and is happy to schedule an appointment with you as soon as possible to help ensure continued oral health.

Convenient Dentist Offices in Southern California

Doctor Sam Shahovesi and the team at City Dental Centers are here to provide our patients with the best dental services and dental surgeries for children and adults of all ages. From toddlers to seniors, City Dental Centers offers six convenient dentist offices in Southern California. We even have a dedicated children’s dentist office, City Dental Kids & Braces, to cater to the special physical and emotional needs of children.

Whether you need checkups, x-rays, braces, bonding, teeth whitening, sealants, oral cancer screenings, root canals, crowns, bridges, implants, or tooth extraction, City Dental Centers is here to make the process as easy and comfortable as possible.

Ready to experience the best dentists in Los Angeles? Choose one of the convenient dental offices we have surrounding LA. We have dental practices in AzusaCoronaLake ForestMontclairPico Rivera, and West Covina. You can call our main line at (888) 624-8933 or reach out to an office directly with the information below. We’re so happy you’ve chosen City Dental Centers. We can’t wait to help you along your dental journey and brighten your beautiful smile!