Your gum, tissue, and bones within your mouth are susceptible to periodontal disease, which is more commonly known as gum disease. It all starts with plaque, which is a light, almost invisible layer of food debris and saliva. If plaque is not removed when you brush, floss, and rinse your mouth, then bacteria can start to grow in the plaque, and the plaque can become harder. This is called tartar, and the bacteria within it will start to attack your gums. The first symptom of periodontal disease is bleeding gums.

80% of people will have periodontal disease without even realizing it, and that is because it is painless at the very beginning.

gum disease exam

Gum Disease Exam

The number one reason that most people want to avoid periodontal disease is because it can lead to tooth loss, but experts have also shown that there seems to be a strong link between gum disease and many other health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, strokes, bacterial pneumonia, and even pregnancy risks. Research still continues, but scientists also know that smoking has a direct negative effect on gum disease.

The best way to prevent yourself from having gum disease is to enjoy a balanced diet and to have good oral and dental hygiene. Visiting your dentist regularly will also help to catch any gum disease early if it does occur.

If you have any of the below symptoms, you could be experiencing the early stages of gum disease:

  • Bleeding gums – they should not bleed when you brush or flos
  • Loose teeth – usually due to the gum disease breaking apart gum fibers
  • Gaps between teeth – caused by bone loss
  • Bad breath – or haliotosis, created by the bacteria
  • Pus – found anywhere in your mouth, this is not a good sign
  • Receding gums – due to a loss of gum tissue
  • Red or puffy gums – inflammation due to infection
  • Discomfort or tenderness – the bacteria is irritating your gums

To check if you are in danger of getting gum disease, call (619) 640-5100 for a free consultation.


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