Signs You May Have Periodontal DiseaseWednesday, August 11th, 2010, 11:59 am
Many patients that suffer from periodontal disease do not realize they have the condition. If you don’t get a dental checkup twice a year you may be well on your way to losing your teeth and increasing the odds that you will suffer from heart disease, stroke or diabetes. Since gum disease is preventable and easily treatable in the early stages it is important to know the signs.
The first noticeable symptom of periodontal disease is usually bad breath. This is not your typical “I had garlic for lunch” bad breath. This is a chronic, foul odor that won’t go away even after brushing and flossing. If you have chronic bad breath you should also visit your physician to rule out diseases such as diabetes but since the majority of our population suffers from undiagnosed gum disease it is the most likely cause of the problem.
Healthy gums are a nice shade of pink. If your gums are red or purple and they appear to be swollen around your teeth you probably have periodontal disease.
Gums that are tender or sore and bleed easily are another sign. It is not normal for gums to bleed when brushing or flossing. Bleeding, sore gums are a sure sign of infection and you should seek treatment as soon as possible.
Pain when chewing can be another sign that periodontal disease is advancing. Pain that is felt only in one tooth can signal a cracked tooth or the need or a root canal. Pain that is spread throughout your mouth is more likely a sign of serious gum disease.
What happens if gum disease is not treated? Several things – first your teeth will become loose, this causes the bone in the jaw to begin to deteriorate leading to eventual tooth and bone loss. Beyond your mouth, the chronic inflammation and infection spreads bacteria to other organs including the heart. If you are a woman of child-bearing age you should be aware that bacteria from infected gums have been found in amniotic fluid and linked to premature births.
Now that you know the signs of periodontal disease and how important healthy gums are for your smile and for the rest of your body it is time to contact my Toccoa, Georgia office at 706-886-9439 to schedule your appointment. If the reason that you have been putting off treatment is due to fear or anxiety – don’t worry. My team and I specialize in helping patients with dental anxiety – sedation dentistry may be the answer for you. Ask about your options when you call.