Warning Signs and Risk Factors

Warning Signs of Gum Disease:

  • Bad breath or bad taste
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bleeding when you brush
  • Loose teeth
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
  • Pus in-between your teeth and gums when you press down on the gums
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
  • Any changes in the fit of partial dentures 

It is possible not to have these warning signs and still have gum disease.  Also, most people do not feel pain with the disease.  This is why regular checkups and periodic radiographs are important.

A technique called periodontal probing is the cornerstone of testing for periodontal disease. In this procedure, a small measuring instrument is gently placed between your tooth and gum to measure the depth of the pocket. Periodontal probing should be part of every complete dental examination. Ask your dentist and hygienist to show and explain to you the complete charting at the end of every care appointment!

Risk Factors

Risk factors of periodontal disease include:

  • There is an increased risk for developing periodontal disease as we age
  • Smoking and tobacco use also increases the risk for developing periodontal disease at an early age. Smoking also increases the severity of the periodontal disease and diminishes your response or limits the effectiveness to treatment.
  • Certain medications can effect your mouth and gum tissues adversely. It is important to bring a complete list of your medications to your first appointment.
  • Genetics can also contribute to the severity and onset of someone’s periodontal disease.
  • Stress, clenching and grinding can also contribute to bone loss around your teeth and may speed the rate at which the supporting tissues of your teeth are lost.
  • Systemic diseases and obesity can also predispose someone to developing periodontal disease.