Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a fact sheet regarding periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the inflammation of the gums due to plaque buildup. Without proper oral care or the advice of a dentist, the infection will grow and cause permanent tooth loss. WHO Researchers declared that 15-20% of people aged 35-44 have shown signs of periodontal disease. Worldwide, 30% of people aged 65-74 no longer have natural teeth.

Now, if the disease is prevalent, how come people worldwide still suffer from early permanent tooth loss?

The tricky part about periodontal disease is its progressiveness. The first symptoms of periodontal disease begins with gingivitis. Gingivitis is characterized by slightly swollen gums, which bleed when provoked by a toothbrush.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease - Toledo Periodontist

Now, some people might think that bleeding gums are natural, and happens when brushing roughly. However, healthy gums will never bleed even when brushed strenuously. It’s important to understand that periodontal disease progresses through different stages. Each of these stages represents the severity of the disease and have different treatments, although the first few stages do not show apparent signs. This is why it’s crucial to visit a dentist regularly for an oral examination. If not, your gums might become infected and develop to a stage where gum surgery is necessary.

Crucial Signs of Periodontal Disease

Bleeding Gums

The gums bleed when germs from plaque buildup start attacking healthy tissue around your teeth. This does not only weaken the gums, but inflames and irritates them as well. This occurs when a person has gingivitis – the early stage of periodontal disease.

Pus Between Teeth

The best way to determine if periodontal disease is progressing is to check if pus pockets are forming between the teeth. At early stages, pus should not be forming since the infection hasn’t increased. However, when pus is present, your body is already fighting a serious infection. If you have pus between the teeth as one of the signs of periodontal disease, it’s time to visit a periodontist.

Bad Breath

Bad breath commonly originates from the back of the tongue, the stomach, or from the food we consume. However, having trapped food particles between your teeth and underneath your gumline also causes this condition. When gingivitis is left untreated, it evolves into chronic periodontitis. During that stage, gum pockets filled with bacteria will continue to infect the surrounding tissue around your teeth. In time, the pockets deepen and provide space for bacteria from old food particles to live.

Longer Teeth

Once you notice your teeth looking longer than usual, it may be time to visit a periodontist. Gum recession is characterized by the teeth appearing longer than they normally were. If most of your teeth have been affected by gum recession, this means you’re in an advanced stage of periodontal disease. The bacteria will now begin to infect and destroy the gum tissue and the underlying bone. This will leave your teeth loose or wiggly, and expose their roots. Gum recession is one of the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease that means the effect is no longer easy to reverse. With the advice of a periodontist, gum surgery might be a plausible measure to take.

Pain and Discomfort

It’s hard for a person to be concerned during the early stages of periodontal disease because pain is not yet present. Although the gums start to bleed, the absence of pain makes the condition easy to brush off. This is why gingivitis progresses to chronic periodontitis. By leaving gingivitis untreated, plaque will continue to build, turn into tartar, and destroy surrounding structures of the teeth. At the most advanced stage of periodontal disease, pain and discomfort start to be present. The severity will depend on the stage you’re in, but it’s recommended to see a periodontist once pain is present. If left untreated, the person will feel intense pain and discomfort due to the growing infection.

Treatment When Signs of Periodontal Disease Occurs

The best way to prevent periodontal diseases is having good oral hygiene. Basic oral practices such as brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can kill harsh bacteria and prevent gingivitis. Moreover, a regular visit to the dentist for a cleaning session can remove plaque buildup that has not turned into tartar.

However, once you experience any of the signs of periodontal disease mentioned above, the best way to treat it is to visit a periodontist. The periodontist will assess the severity of the disease and perform the necessary countermeasures. In some cases, the treatment includes procedures such as scaling and root planing. If the disease hasn’t progressed severely, proper medication will be prescribed.