Periodontal (gum) disease can take a devastating toll on your oral and overall health. As it advances, it destroys the tissue and bone supporting the teeth; it has also been linked to heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening conditions.
When gum disease is caught in its early stages, Drs. Ali and Shery Mansouri of Serene Dental Center can take measures to reverse it and restore the gums to optimal health. Here, our dentists want to alert you to some of the signs that can indicate the presence of gum disease.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease occurs when bacteria is not removed from the mouth by brushing or flossing, and forms a sticky, colorless substance called plaque. Over time, the plaque can spread below the gum line, producing toxins that irritate the gum tissue. The body responds to this irritation by breaking down and destroying the tissues and bone supporting the teeth.
Common Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Chronic bad breath that won’t go away
- Gums that appear to be pulling away from the teeth, creating pockets
- Loose or sensitive teeth
What to Do If You Notice Symptoms
If you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, you should have your mouth evaluated by one of our dentists or dental hygienists as soon as possible.
During an appointment with our team, we will perform a visual examination of your gums, and ask you questions about your lifestyle and medical history that could indicate you are at a higher risk for gum disease (such as, do you smoke or have diabetes?). We will use a special instrument to check for and measure gum pockets. This check is not painful. Any pockets measuring over 3 millimeters could be problematic. We may also take X-rays to look for any bone loss.
Armed with this information, we can then confirm a diagnosis of gum disease and advise as to the severity of the disease. Mild forms of gum disease can usually be reversed with deep cleanings and excellent at-home oral care. More serious forms of gum disease may require more involved treatment by a periodontist.
To schedule an appointment with our team of professionals, please call or email Serene Dental Center today.