5 Signs You May Be Developing Gum Disease

Gum disease is a common problem that will affect most American adults at some point in their lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 40% of Americans over the age of 30 will develop gum disease. The risks of developing it increase dramatically with age, and at least 70% of Americans will have some form of gum disease by age 65. 

When caught and treated early, gum (also known as periodontal) disease can be reversed, and it usually doesn’t lead to long-term damage. However as the disease progresses, it causes permanent damage to the bone and soft tissues that support the teeth and gums, increasing the risk of tooth loss. 

At The Beverly Hills Center for Advanced Dental Implants and Periodontology, periodontist Dr. Jean-Jacques Elbaz and his team offer several treatment options for every stage of gum disease, including periodontal surgery in severe cases. 

Here are five of the most common signs and symptoms of gum disease. If you suspect that you may have gum disease, schedule an appointment as soon as possible to limit the damage and help get your oral health back on track.

1. Your gums bleed when you brush and floss

Bleeding when brushing or flossing your teeth may mean you have gingivitis. While you shouldn’t ignore bleeding gums, the good news is that gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and can be treated, so you won’t have to worry about permanent damage if you see your dentist and continue practicing good oral hygiene. This stage is reversible with treatment.

2. You have dark red, swollen gums

Periodontal disease results from inflammation due to plaque and tartar buildup. If your gums are a dark red color and feel swollen or tender, you may have gum disease. The next stage of gum disease after gingivitis is periodontitis. It can cause permanent damage if left untreated. This stage is non-reversible.

3. You have bad breath

People can develop bad breath for a number of reasons, but if you find that you suddenly have bad breath that isn’t caused by your diet or another issue, it could be a sign of gum disease.

4. Your gums are receding

As plaque and tartar harden and accumulate below the gumline, they can create pockets that increase the risk of infection and cause the gums to separate from your teeth, known as receding gums. This can be difficult to spot on your own, but if you notice that your teeth appear longer than usual (the root is exposed) or have pulled away from the gums, schedule an appointment for a dental exam to rule out gum disease.

5. Your gums are infected

Pus around a tooth or sores on your gums are a sign of periodontitis. 

How to protect your teeth and gums from periodontal disease

The best way to protect yourself from gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene, eat a healthy diet, avoid tobacco, and go to the dentist for regular check ups and cleanings every six months, or as recommended by your dentist. Please note that in many instances, people with periodontal disease don’t experience any pain and the disease is diagnosed in a dental office.

The sooner you get treatment for gum disease, the less likely you are to suffer from permanent damage to your teeth and gums and the less extensive/expensive your treatment will be. For more information about gum disease prevention and the treatment options available to you at the Beverly Hills Center for Advanced Dental Implants and Periodontology, call us today at 310-846-9482 or schedule online with Dr. Elbaz.

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