Do I Have Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease—more frequently referred to as “gum disease”—is one of the most common infections among adults in Moorpark and Glendale. Thankfully, it’s also preventable thanks to good oral hygiene, routine checkups, and early screenings. But if you do develop gum disease the best treatment is early diagnosis and soft tissue therapy. Otherwise, it can spiral into bone and tooth loss.

Gum Disease Symptoms

How can you tell if you have gum disease or not? Unless you smoke or use tobacco products (which are known to mask symptoms) some of the most common warning signs include:

Swollen, Bleeding Gums—The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, which is swollen and inflamed gum tissues along the edges. Bleeding may also be common, especially when brushing and flossing. Thankfully gingivitis is reversible within about two weeks with good home care. But if it is overlooked it will eventually expand into deeper tissues. Instead of mild bleeding, people with gum disease may see heavy bleeding and deep red or purple swelling that’s extremely tender to the touch.

Gum Recession and Pockets—The more pronounced a gum infection becomes, the weaker the attachment your gums will have to your teeth. This process triggers the development of “pockets” around each tooth, where the gums have detached. In addition to deep pockets, gums will also begin to recede, exposing the tooth root that should be tucked away behind them. Recession tends to increase the risk of tooth sensitivity and cavities.

Spaces Between Teeth—Receding gumlines means less tissue to frame each tooth, including the gums between them. As the gums shrink it creates open spaces or “black triangles” between teeth, which are normally filled with gum tissues. You’ll tend to notice that food packs in these spaces each time you eat.

Loose Teeth or Tooth Loss—As bacteria invade the space between your gums and teeth, they don’t just cause the gums to detach. The surrounding bone structures are also compromised. In time, this dilemma leads to tooth mobility and eventually tooth loss.

Tartar Buildup—Do you see visible tartar buildup across your teeth, near the gumlines? Tartar—also called dental calculus—may be yellow, brown, or black. But tartar is like an iceberg; you only see a small portion of it above the gums and it’s much, much larger below the gumlines. Tartar houses the bacteria that are responsible for infecting your gums and the surrounding bone.

Halitosis—Chronic bad breath is typically a side effect of necrotic (dying) tissues and bacterial deposits deep below the gumlines. It’s common in people with aggressive gum disease and may not respond well to other types of bad breath treatments, mints, rinses, brushing, or other remedies. The best solution is to schedule deep cleanings to remove the buildup and source of odor within diseased gum pockets.

The Link to Your Overall Health

Gum disease is closely linked to several different systemic health conditions. The relationship between oral inflammation—and bacteria spreading into your bloodstream—can strain your immune system and increase swelling throughout the body.

Some of the health conditions that research scientists have continually linked to the severity of gum disease include:

•   Diabetes

•   Pneumonia

•   Cardiovascular disease (including heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure)

•   Infertility, erectile dysfunction, preeclampsia, and other reproductive health concerns

By combatting active gum disease, your immune system can better manage other health issues and stabilize co-existing conditions. Repeated studies have found that treating periodontal infections shows improvement in blood glucose levels and fertility concerns within just a few months.

Gum Disease Treatments | Moorpark, Glendale

Dental Smiles Studio offers periodontal disease screenings and gum disease therapy in Moorpark and Glendale. If you’re experiencing symptoms of gum infection or it’s been more than six months since your last cleaning, call us to schedule your next checkup. We’ll guide you through the screening process and provide insight on the next steps to take.