Know The Signs: Five Early Symptoms of Gum Disease

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Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that hold the teeth together. This is often the result of poor oral hygiene, where the plaque is allowed to build up and harden. When left untreated, it can result in damage to the jawbone and, ultimately, tooth loss. At Something To Smile About in Merrimack, NH, Dr. Kevin Boulard offers periodontal disease treatments that aim to properly treat patients with different stages of gum disease.

Five gum disease symptoms

Gum disease can be silent, meaning there are no warning signs until it advances. This is why it’s important to schedule regular exams and routine dental cleanings, so Dr. Boulard can diagnose gum disease before it becomes more harmful to your oral health.

Five of the earliest symptoms of gum disease are:

  1. Bleeding gums, especially while brushing or flossing

  2. Swollen, red, or tender gums

  3. Gum recession

  4. Persistent bad breath

  5. Changes in the bite

If you think you have gum disease in Merrimack, NH, our professional team offers gum disease treatment options for patients of all ages.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease can be caused by many things, including:

  • Diet: The foods that you eat can affect your oral health. If you eat a high-sugar diet, you increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. The disease will progress much faster with a poor diet.

  • Poor oral hygiene: If you don’t brush or floss properly, plaque turns to tartar. This buildup on and between your teeth can only be removed properly at a dental cleaning at Something To Smile About.

  • Genetics: Some people are more likely to get gum disease despite even if they care for their teeth and gums.

  • Hormonal changes: Fluctuations in hormones during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause can make gums more sensitive and more likely to develop gum disease

  • Crooked teeth: When your teeth don’t come together properly, in terms of a bite, too much force is placed on your gums. This can lead to gum recession and the onset of gum disease.

Stages of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease has four stages:

  1. Gingivitis: This stage is the only reversible one because the bones haven’t been attacked yet. Bleeding gums are one of the first symptoms you will experience. Good oral hygiene, and regular dental exams and dental cleanings help treat and reverse this stage.

  2. Slight Periodontal Disease: Slight periodontal disease isn’t reversible, but it can be managed with treatment from Dr. Boulard. At this stage, the infection has spread to the bone. Bone loss may occur as the bacteria is becoming more aggressive. Scaling and root planing can deep clean your gums and remove bacteria deposits that are deep inside your gumline.

  3. Moderate Periodontal Disease: This third stage has more probing depths, which means that bacteria can attack the bones and get into your bloodstream. Our periodontal specialist, Dr. Boulard, can thoroughly clean the area.

  4. Advanced Periodontal Disease: The final stage of periodontal disease will require laser therapy or periodontal surgery to thoroughly cleanse these bacteria pockets on the gums. When left untreated, gaps, gum recession, and other serious health issues can happen.

Ultimately, treating periodontal disease quickly is important to your overall health.

How we determine your gum disease stage

At Something To Smile About, Dr. Boulard will use a probe to measure any infected pockets around or under your teeth. Digital x-rays will help him identify any deterioration that has resulted from the infection. This helps him to determine which type of periodontal gum disease treatment should be used. The treatment chosen will be determined by the severity of your gum disease. Treating gum disease as early as possible helps minimize damage and decreases the need for future surgery. It also reduces your chance of tooth loss. The goal of any periodontal treatment we use at Something To Smile About is to restore the health of your gums.

Gum disease treatments

Some of the most common periodontal treatments we use include:

  1. Scaling and root planing: This is the least invasive treatment option. It removes plaque and tartar near the gumline. It also helps create a smoother root surface. This helps our periodontal team to remove bacteria and create a clean surface for the gums to reattach again.

  2. Tooth restoration: When tooth loss occurs with gum disease, we offer a variety of restorative dentistry options, including crowns or dental implants to restore your smile.

Learn more about gum disease treatment in Merrimack, NH

When left untreated, gum disease will continue to affect your oral and overall health. At Something To Smile About in Merrimack, NH, Dr. Kevin Boulard helps his patients to improve their gum health with a series of periodontal disease treatments. To learn more about these treatments, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.