Gum disease is a chronic bacterial infection, and it’s also the No. 1 cause of missing teeth. Although tooth loss is a serious and irreversible result of gum disease, it’s not the first sign of gum disease.
Dr. Afshin Vahadi and Dr. Vafa Mirshams want you to know that gum disease is treatable, and early treatment can help prevent tooth loss. No matter which stage of gum disease you have, we offer a variety of treatments, from root planing and scaling to pinhole surgery, here at Lone Star Dental Care in Frisco, Texas.
In the meantime, learn more about five telltale signs of gum disease and when it’s time to receive dental treatment.
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, refers to multiple types of disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the earliest form of gum disease and also the easiest to treat. Periodontitis is the more advanced form of gum disease, and if left untreated, it can contribute to wiggly adult teeth and tooth loss.
You might suspect you have gum disease if you notice:
1. Bleeding gums
If your teeth bleed when you brush your teeth, it could be a sign of gingivitis. Bleeding gums are often the first sign of gum disease, and unfortunately, many people shrug it off and attribute it to vigorous brushing. The good news is that gingivitis can be improved with professional dental cleaning and ongoing oral care at home.
2. Red or swollen gums
When plaque and tartar accumulate along your gums, it irritates your delicate gum tissue. Because your gums are irritated, they become red and swollen. You might notice this in one isolated area, or you might notice that all of your gums are red and tender.
As with bleeding gums, your gums benefit from a deep cleaning at this stage. A deep cleaning removes all of the tartar and puts your gums back on the right track.
3. Receding gums
If your teeth appear longer than they used to, it’s not an illusion. As your gums pull back, they recede and expose more and more of your tooth. If your gums recede too much, it can even expose parts of your tooth roots. Not only does this impact the appearance of your smile, but it also increases your risk of bacterial infections and decay.
Potential treatments for gum disease at this stage include:
Gum recession can also develop as a result of aggressive brushing and bruxism — teeth grinding and gnashing — but regardless of the cause, we can help improve the health of your gums.
4. Loose teeth
A child with a loose tooth might be excited for a visit from the tooth fairy, but an adult with a loose tooth is nothing short of terrifying, and unfortunately, that’s a sign of severe gum disease. Untreated infections impact the integrity of your jaw bone, which contributes to the wiggly teeth. Unfortunately, loose and shifting teeth can also cause bite problems, making it uncomfortable to chew.
5. A bump on your gums
If you notice a bump on your gums, you might have an abscess. An abscess 一 a telltale sign of an infection 一 is a pus-filled pocket caused by a bacterial infection. In addition to the bump, you might notice bad breath, a fever, swollen lymph nodes, and swelling.
Abscesses won’t go away on their own and require one or more of the following treatments:
Although it can be concerning to suspect you have gum disease, remember that treatment is available. Whether you need surgical procedures to restore your gums or jaw to good health, we can help you get back on track. To set up an appointment, call us or use our online scheduling tool.