According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50% of all American adults are afflicted with periodontal disease, or gum disease, as it is more commonly referred to. That's a pretty impressive statistic, given the fact that there are some 3.2 billion (yes, billion, adults living in the US.
Given this statistic, there's a pretty good chance that you could develop periodontal disease at some point in your life. For that reason, it is extremely important that you are aware of the signs and symptoms of this oral health problem; and the earlier you notice them, the better, because the sooner it's treated, the healthier your teeth and gums will be.
So, what are the early warning signs of gum disease? Here's a look at what you need to know.
Your Dentist Will Notice
In the earliest stages of periodontal disease, there may not be any noticeable signs or symptoms; or at least any signs or symptoms that you would notice. However, your dentist will be able to see the signs, if they are present.
Through his or her trained eye, and through the use of high-tech instruments, (X-ray machines, etc), your dentist will be able to see if there are any early signs of periodontal disease present in your mouth.
Red, Swollen, Bleeding Gums
Take a look in the mirror. Are your gums red or swollen? When you brush your teeth, do your gums bleed? If so, then there's a good chance that you have gum disease.
The redness, bleeding and swelling is your gums' reaction to infection, which is the cause of periodontal disease. Another thing to notice is if your gums seem to be slightly separated from your teeth. If so, then you definitely want to get to a periodontist as soon as possible.
Pain and Tenderness
If your gums or sore and tender, then you should consider that a warning sign for gum disease. Just like when you get an infection in your finger or toe and you feel pain, the same is true for your gums. If you are feeling like they are uncomfortable or like they are just sore, you're going to want to have your mouth further assessed.
If you are experiencing any of these early signs or symptoms of periodontal disease, don't delay and call a periodontist right away. The sooner it's treated, the better off you will be. Put off treatment and you could end up in serious trouble with your teeth (missing teeth, abscesses, etc).