Periodontal disease – or gum disease – is one of the most serious health issues your mouth can face. As periodontists in Westchester, Dr. Loshak and Dr. Celenza can diagnose you definitely for periodontal disease, but if you want to monitor for gum disease yourself, you need to know how to identify it.
Gum disease in its initial stages is called gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when plaque builds up on teeth and isn’t removed. This causes the initial symptoms of periodontal disease, which are:
- Red, swollen gums
- Gums that bleed easily
These symptoms, while disruptive, can be reversed to prevent long-term damage to your teeth and gums. However, if gingivitis is left untreated, it develops into full-blown periodontal disease, or periodontitis. Periodontitis is very serious, and requires major treatment to offset its effects on your gums.
A person suffering from gum disease may notice the following symptoms:
- Gums pulling away from the teeth
- Spaces in between the teeth
- Pus from below the gumline
- Red, swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Pain in the gums or teeth
- Persistent bad breath
While those symptoms are certainly serious, the worst part of periodontal disease is what happens when it continues unchecked. At that point, the body’s immune system is focused on fighting the infection. Bacteria get into the gum line, and in an effort to fight it, the body’s immune system begins to break down the bone and connective tissue that holds the teeth in place. This can cause not only tooth loss, but the destruction of parts of the as well.
Gum disease is easily preventable – regular flossing and brushing is usually all it takes to ward off periodontitis. However, it’s worth noting that some people are genetically predisposed to developing gum disease. If you have a family history of gum disease, you should visit a periodontist regularly to ensure that your oral health is at its peak.
If you start to experience any of these symptoms, you need to see a Westchester periodontist at Advanced Dentistry of Scarsdale immediately. Periodontists are dental specialists who treat gum disease at its various stages. Whether you’re seeing the early signs of gingivitis, or your oral health has deteriorated and you have symptoms of full-blown periodontitis, your best bet for taking care of your teeth is an appointment with us.