Losing your teeth to periodontal (gum) disease is avoidable if you know what symptoms to look out for and catch them early enough. At Central Valley Dentistry we perform routine periodontal screenings on each patient. But if you’re between visits and experiencing problems — or you haven’t seen a dentist in Phoenix in years — here are the top signs to be on the lookout for.
The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis, and one of the very first symptoms you’ll notice is swelling and puffiness along the gumlines. The gums may even appear to have rolled edges where they’re puffy as they encircle your teeth. This swelling comes from the inflammatory process of your body’s immune system as it responds to bacteria inside of your mouth.
Aside from swelling, bleeding gums tend to be one of the first symptoms people notice. “Pink in the sink” becomes evident when you brush and floss, when bleeding is the most prevalent.
While it can be instinct to stop brushing and flossing your gums if it seems like that’s what causing it, that would cause more harm than good. Take the bleeding as a cue to see our Phoenix dentist before other symptoms start to pop up.
As a note, if you’re a smoker, you probably won’t see the same extent of swelling and bleeding (if any at all) because of the body’s tendency to see a decrease in blood flow to those areas. This can mask underlying signs, allowing periodontitis to progress into advanced disease without you ever realizing it.
Although an embarrassing topic to talk about, halitosis (bad breath) is a major symptom of gum disease that’s noticeable to everyone around you. At Central Valley Dentistry, Dr. Behbahani will confidentially discuss your concerns with you and help you develop a strategy to combat the bacteria that cause halitosis, helping you to enjoy fresher breath and a healthier smile.
As plaque biofilm collects under the gum lines, it begins to calcify across the surface of your roots and along the gumlines. Tartar (also called calculus) is usually yellow, brown, or black. It can’t be brushed or flossed away and can only be removed by scheduling a professional cleaning at our dentist office in Phoenix.
When allowed to stay on your teeth, tartar facilitates gum recession, tissue detachment, bone loss, and tooth mobility.
Food Packing Between Teeth
Most of our Phoenix gum disease patients won’t know that they have bone loss or tissue detachment unless they’ve seen Dr. Behbahani for an exam. But you will notice if you tend to get food stuck between your teeth and under your gums every time you eat. If you are, it’s likely because the tissues are starting to pull away (due to infection and/or bone loss.)
Schedule an appointment at Central Valley Dentistry in Phoenix today to find out if you have gum disease and get treatment to prevent tooth loss.