Many of us take our teeth and gums for granted, not thinking about their health until something noticeable goes wrong. However, you shouldn’t wait for a toothache or bleeding gums to begin worrying about your teeth. Next time you’re brushing, flossing, or just looking in the mirror, check for subtle signs of periodontal disease.
At Fayette Dental Group, serving patients in Fayetteville, Georgia, and the surrounding area, Dr. Charley Cheney and our team of experienced dental specialists help prevent and treat periodontal disease to preserve your smile.
3 subtle signs of periodontal disease
Periodontal disease, also known as periodontitis or gum disease, occurs when your gums become inflamed and infected and eventually begin receding away from your teeth. This causes your teeth to become loose and exposed, increasing your risk of losing them and the surrounding jawbone.
Gum disease is one of the most common and damaging dental health issues. Left untreated, it leads to not only tooth decay and bone loss in your jaw, but can also cause severe infections and eventual tooth loss.
Proper brushing and flossing can not only protect against periodontitis, but even reverse the early stages of the disease, called gingivitis. Gingivitis tends to manifest in subtle ways, many of which can be missed if you’re not actively caring for your teeth. Signs of gum inflammation and early-stage gum disease include:
1. Red, puffy, or bleeding gums
Your gums should be healthy, pink, and evenly colored. If yours are red, puffy or swollen, hurt to touch, brush, or floss, or even bleed when you complete your oral hygiene routine, you might have early-stage gingivitis.
2. Paler teeth along your gumline
Can you see slivers of lighter enamel along your gumline, where your gums have receded? Although you may not notice your gums getting “shorter” and your teeth becoming “longer” at first, you might see the tell-tale change in shade right along your gumline, where enamel that was formerly protected and stain-free is being exposed.
3. Chronic bad breath
Contrary to public opinion, halitosis isn’t most commonly caused by diet. While garlic and onions can cause a slight odor for a few hours, periodontal disease can cause persistent, truly horrific perio breath due to a sticky film of plaque and bacteria living just below your gumline.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs while examining your own teeth, you need to improve your oral health immediately. We help you assess the damage and determine how to move forward.
When to seek treatment
Gingivitis can be treated at home with a thorough dental hygiene routine. This includes brushing at least twice a day, preferably with a soft-bristle toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. Flossing is also important; if you struggle to floss with dental string, try using disposable picks or invest in a water flossing system.
If your gums are still inflamed and bleeding after a week, it’s recommended that you see a dentist for a full evaluation. At Fayette Dental Group, Dr. Cheney is familiar with all stages of periodontal disease and can help you cure your gums and save your teeth.
Dr. Cheney performs a variety of services, including cleaning, scaling, and root planing, which scrape away plaque and tartar and prevent future buildup. Combined with your efforts at home, this is usually enough to reverse gingivitis and promote healthier gums.
In more advanced cases of periodontitis, bone grafts, tissue regeneration, and flap surgery can be performed to try and restore your gums and jawbone before reimagining your smile.
Don’t overlook the warning signs of periodontal disease. To schedule a visit, call Fayette Dental Group at 770-683-2000 today or request an appointment online anytime.