What are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

Although periodontal disease is widespread, it also poses a serious risk to not only your oral health but your overall health. Those who do not see a dentist for regular exams and cleanings may begin to suspect periodontal disease when symptoms such as bleeding gums, tenderness, loose teeth, discolored gums, and other symptoms arise. Here’s everything to know about symptoms of periodontal disease, along with treatments to manage the condition and protect your health and well-being.

Periodontal Disease 101

Periodontal disease, also called periodontitis, is the most severe form of gum disease. Gum disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth and on the teeth (plaque). In its early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis can often be reversed with regular dental care, excellent oral hygiene, and treatments to remove plaque called deep cleanings (scaling and root planing).

As gum disease worsens, plaque hardens on the teeth, forming tartar (also called calculus).

Periodontal disease cannot be reversed. It can however be managed, with comprehensive and regular periodontal care.

10 Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease may show no obvious symptoms in some people in its early stages. As the disease progresses, however, patients will begin to experience symptoms including:

  • Swollen or puffy gums due to inflammation
  • Tender gums
  • Discolored gums (bright red or purple)
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in the mouth that doesn’t go away
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain when chewing or biting into food
  • Tooth sensitivity

If you notice any of these symptoms it is vital that you schedule a dental examination immediately.

Surgical and Non-Surgical Treatments for Periodontal Disease

In many cases, non-surgical treatment is sufficient to manage periodontal disease. Non-surgical treatment includes a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing), oral hygiene instructions and regular cleanings (periodontal maintenance). Your periodontist may also recommend antibiotics to support non-surgical treatment.

In other cases, your periodontist may need to perform surgery to stop the progression of periodontal disease or regenerate bone that has been lost due to periodontal disease. Surgical treatments for periodontal disease include:

Pocket Reduction Surgery

This periodontal surgery reduces the depth of periodontal pockets, to prevent anaerobic bacteria from accumulating deep in the pockets of the teeth.

Periodontal Regeneration

Periodontal regeneration may involve a combination of procedures, all of which restore the support system of a tooth or teeth. Procedures may include bone grafts, and the use of regenerative therapies such as collagen membranes or growth factors to promote new growth of healthy tissue and bone.

Periodontal surgeries are performed on an out-patient basis. Recovery times will vary. After your surgery, you will be provided with detailed post-operative instructions to ensure an expedient, successful recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions about Periodontal Disease

Will I Need Surgery for Gum Disease?

Most people will not need surgery to manage gum disease. Those with severe periodontal disease may need surgery to restore the mouth to good health, and to prevent risks to your overall health.

What are the health risks of periodontal disease?

Untreated periodontal disease has been linked to many serious, and potentially life-threatening conditions, including, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, COPD, and preterm births.

Schedule an Appointment for Periodontal Disease Treatment in Belmont, MA

At Schrott Perio Implants in Belmont, MA, Board-Certified Periodontist Dr. Alexander Schrott and Dr. Meghrikl Assadourian provide surgical and nonsurgical treatment and procedures for periodontal disease. To schedule an appointment, call 617-484-9240, or send us a message to request an appointment.