Comprehensive Periodontal Exam
Periodontal disease (or gum disease) is often silent, meaning symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease.
However, warning signs of gum disease include the following:
- Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth.
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food.
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before.
- Loose or separating teeth.
- Pus/discharge between your gums and teeth.
- Sores in your mouth.
- Persistent bad breath.
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
- A change in the fit of partial dentures.
Millions of people don’t know they have this serious infection that can lead to tooth loss if not treated.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.
Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
Factors that may contribute to periodontal diseases include, diabetes, smoking, aging, genetic predisposition, systemic diseases and conditions, stress, inadequate nutrition, puberty, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, substance abuse, HIV infection, and certain medication use.
American Academy of Periodontology