Symptoms of Gum Disease

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Gum disease is the inflammation and infection of gum tissue in your mouth, and it can happen where tartar and plaque have built up on your teeth and allowed bacteria to take hold. When it comes to stopping gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, prevention is king. Establishing the habits of good oral hygiene—daily brushing and flossing, and regular checkups and cleanings at the dentist—is the best way to keep it at bay. If periodontal disease does develop, it’s important to catch it in the initial stages, when it’s still relatively easy (and inexpensive) to treat. This means that recognizing the symptoms of gum disease is critical.

The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis—the inflammation of the gums. Symptoms associated with this stage are bleeding gums when brushing and flossing, unpleasant breath, redness of the gum tissue, and tenderness. When gum disease is caught in this early stage, it is reversible. You dentist can treat the disease by removing built-up plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth.

If gingivitis remains unaddressed, the bacterial infection will progress into the advanced stage of gum disease—periodontitis. This stage is especially destructive and can damage teeth, gums, and even the bones that support your teeth. Gums recede, leaving pockets between the teeth and the gums, making it even harder to clean your mouth thoroughly and helps the disease to progress rapidly. Eventually the bones of the jaw are affected and teeth can become loose. During this stage, symptoms can also include loose teeth, receding gum line, new spaces opening between the teeth, and a change in bite alignment when you chew.

One of the best ways to prevent gum disease from developing is to maintain regular check-ups with your dentist. During routine check-ups, your dentist will carefully scan your mouth for any signs of developing disease, and can address them right away.

To learn more, visit Dr. Terry Brewick and his team are dedicated to the oral health of their patients in the Governor’s Park neighborhood of Denver, Colorado.