Oral health is about more than a pretty, white smile. It’s about preserving the health of the mouth and preventing disease. Periodontitis, also called gum disease, is a serious gum infection. It damages the soft tissues and bone supporting the teeth, and it can cause loose teeth and even lead to tooth loss. Gum disease can contribute to other health conditions as well.
At 5 Mile Smiles, Dr. Jason Keefe helps patients prevent and treat advanced gum disease. Look out for the below warning signs you need periodontal treatment for advanced gum disease.
Gum recession is when your gum tissue pulls away from your teeth. Over time it can expose the roots of the teeth. Gum recession is often a gradual process that can be difficult to observe. That is why regular dental exams and cleanings are so important. During a dental exam, patients can be checked for gum recession.
Red, Swollen or Sensitive Gums
While the shade of the gums may vary from patient to patient, healthy gums are typically pink and firm. The bacteria that cause periodontitis can cause inflammation. Gums that are red or inflamed may also be sensitive to the touch. All of these are warning signs that you should call a dentist
Bad breath is normal — just not all the time. If you have chronic bad breath that you can’t seem to control, it may be a warning sign of gum disease.
One of the major signs of periodontal disease is bleeding gums (especially while tooth brushing or flossing). You should consult with a dentist if you have bleeding gums while brushing or flossing or if your gums begin to bleed unexpectedly.
Pus Buildup Between the Teeth and Gums
Periodontitis can actually cause an abscess between the teeth and gums. The abscess is a pocket of pus. A periodontal abscess can be extremely painful and should be treated immediately.
Loose Teeth or Teeth That Appear To Have Shifted
Having a loose tooth was a wonderful surprise as a child, especially if that loose tooth was followed by a visit from the Tooth Fairy. As we age, however, a loose tooth is less of a pleasant surprise and more of a warning sign of potential health issues. Periodontitis can cause teeth to loosen and shift. If you notice loose or shifting teeth, you may need to contact your dentist (not the Tooth Fairy).
Contact a Dentist Today
If you recognize any of the above warning signs, it is time to contact a dentist. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Keefe at 5 Mile Smiles by calling (509) 326-2621.