Gum disease affects half of the population yet many do not even know that they have it. When left untreated, the infection can progress from swollen gums to the loss of teeth and bone. Fortunately, protecting your smile from gum disease can be easy, if you know what to look for. Below, Dr. Michael Stypula, a periodontist who treats gingivitis in Pittsburgh, PA, provides the symptoms of periodontal disease to help you protect your oral health.
5 Warning Signs of Gum Disease
- Swollen gums: Inflammation of the gum tissue is the first indicator of gingivitis. Bacteria infect the gums, causing irritation and swelling. This inflammation is part of the immune response.
- Bleeding gums: If your gums bleed, you may have gingivitis. Though many people think that a little bleeding is normal when brushing, it is not. Bleeding gums are never normal. This is often the first sign of gingivitis that you will notice.
- Bad breath: The bacteria that cause gingivitis emit toxins that give off odors. Also, periodontal disease represents a chronic infection in your mouth. This can result in persistent halitosis.
- Wider periodontal pockets: When the bacteria infect your gum tissue, they destroy the connective tissues that support your teeth. This includes the periodontal tissue that frames your teeth. Swollen gums can quickly develop a “moat”, or wider area, around the teeth that food particles can become stuck in.
- Receding gums: Gingivitis can result in longer looking teeth. This is a result of the infected gum tissue eroding, leaving more of your tooth surface exposed. This can also cause teeth to become sensitive to hot and cold.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should call a periodontist as soon as possible. Gingivitis will not go away without treatment; it will worsen and may progress to additional symptoms, which include shifting teeth, tooth loss, and bone loss.
For more information about gingivitis in Pittsburgh, PA, schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael C. Stypula. Dr. Stypula offers advanced laser treatment for gum disease, for your comfort and convenience. Contact our office to reserve an appointment.