When periodontal (gum) disease starts, its symptoms are so minimal that people often fail to notice it. As the condition gets worse, however, the symptoms become more prevalent. If you exhibit any of the following, it is time to visit your dentist:
Stage 1: Gingivitis
During the first stage, the gum is red and swollen, there is some bleeding but no bone loss. Gingivitis is also accompanied by bad breath and it happens as a result of poor dental hygiene. At this stage, the condition can be easily remedied by improved dental care and treatment.
Stage 2: Early periodontal disease
If gingivitis is ignored, it may develop into early periodontal disease. This comes with more gum bleeding, but no pain and still no bone loss. However, at this stage, the gingivitis has started to eat more deeply into the structures around the gum and bone loss is imminent. Professional dental care is needed to remedy this.
Stage 3: Moderate periodontal disease
There is some bone loss in the gums (20-50%) as the tissues around the bone deteriorate. Moderate periodontitis also comes with frustrated healing, periods in which the gum tries to heal itself, but to little success.
Stage 4: Advanced periodontal disease
This stage is marked by severe bone loss (50-85%) as the tooth loses structural support from its roots. When this happens, teeth become loose, abscess forms, and the gum gets inflamed and painful. At this stage, the patient is at risk of losing all their teeth and eating becomes difficult.
While onset gum disease is not so easy to spot, if you have regular dental checkups scheduled, your dentist will notice it before it starts to get worse. If you notice any inflammation in your gums, please get it checked out.