Periodontitis, also known as gum disease, is a fairly common mouth infection affecting the soft tissues within the mouth. If left untreated, the condition can progress and ultimately disfigure the jawbone. In most cases, many who have it will rarely experience any form of pain,squeezed-up making it paramount to regularly visit a Cutting Edge Periodontist for early diagnosis and treatment. The good news is that periodontitis is almost always treatable when diagnosed early enough. It’s caused by an accumulation of bacteria (from the plague around one’s teeth) and can be avoided by regular flossing and brushing. It’s the number one oral health condition causing tooth loss in most adults, as it can be easy to overlook the mild symptoms it often presents.
Onset Stage of Periodontitis
In its onset, it is referred to as gingivitis. The typical sign in this stage is the inflammation of the gums, although it may be accompanied by other symptoms. Gingivitis is often reversible when diagnosed in the early stages and may not lead to periodontitis.
If left untreated, gingivitis exacerbates and affects the underlying bone where symptoms like pockets between teeth and gums become pronounced. This is usually the confirmation stage of periodontal disease which may yet lead to advanced periodontal disease. Advanced periodontal disease may lead to other health complications if left unmanaged.
Common Signs and Symptoms
Always being on the lookout for the common signs and symptoms while practicing high standards of oral hygiene plays a crucial role in maintaining your and your family’s oral health and well-being. While one or two of the mentioned symptoms may not be conclusive in diagnosing periodontal disease, being aware and consulting your periodontist matters a lot in the diagnosis process. This is especially important in the case that the disease progresses without symptoms, which is common and may periodically show a symptom or two. Let’s look at some of the most common 9 signs and symptoms.
1. Unexplained Bleeding
Bleeding gums are usually the first indicator of oral health anomalies. It is mostly caused by swollen gums due to tartar buildup or infection due to the bacteria. Conditions like diabetes may worsen the bleeding in people already living with it.
2. Inflammation of the Gums
This is usually the first stage of the disease, and its diagnosis is crucial for its treatment. It may be accompanied by pain, redness, and sensitivity. At this stage, the progression can be completely stopped if identified before further spread.
3. Bad Breath or Taste
Also called halitosis, although it can be caused by other factors like smoking, it is usually a telltale sign of possibly progressing periodontal disease. It usually emanates from decaying remnants of food particles in the pockets between the gums and teeth.
4. Teeth Appear Longer
This is caused by receding gums due to the long-term effect of toxins from the bacteria within the plague surrounding the teeth. Tissues and bones around the teeth decay with time, exposing more of the teeth, making them seem longer.
5. Shifting or Loose Teeth
Loose and shifting teeth are possible symptoms of advanced periodontitis and may also cause pain when eating. This is often a sign that the bone tissue is wearing out fast, making the teeth less firm.
6. Gum Pockets
These are spaces that develop between gums and teeth due to the action of bacteria from the plague. They can be one or several and may worsen over time as old food particles get trapped.
7. Pus Between Tooth and Gum
Prolonged untreated infection around the gums, tissues, and teeth may cause an accumulation of pus around one or several points. This is a natural effect of the body’s immune system trying to wage war on the infection.
8. Changes in Bite
A change in the normal bite position might indicate loose gums due to a possible advancing infection. This might be from one tooth or many depending on the gums affected. This change may also be evident from a slight change in the smile or, in some cases, a feeling of squeezed up teeth.
9. Changes in Tooth Enamel
The tooth enamel is the top outer layer part of the tooth, bacterial toxins may erode it with time making it appear irregular, and the tooth becomes sensitive to temperature extremities. This might also indicate signs of periodontal disease, although sometimes it might be caused by effects of acid reflux problem or regular excessive vomiting.
Although all the above symptoms may be signs of periodontal disease, it’s always advisable to visit an expert periodontist to have a full diagnosis and treatment. Above all, regular oral hygiene and dental checkups are practices that need to be underscored.