If you have red, swollen gums, or bleeding gums, you might have periodontal disease. This is a type of gum disease that affects your gums, teeth, and the deep tissues of your teeth. Here are some things to know about periodontal disease, including what treatment options are available.
There Are Different Types of Periodontal Disease
The first thing you should know about periodontal disease is that there are actually two different types. The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis, which is what many people are talking about when they mention gum disease. This is the less serious form of gum disease, often resulting in swollen and red gums, often with bleeding gums, but not many other symptoms. When it isn't treated properly, it can lead to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. This often includes a variety of other symptoms, such as gums separating from teeth, gum infection, and issues with spacing between the teeth and loose teeth.
You May Have a Variety of Signs and Symptoms
The sooner you get treatment for gum disease, the more successful it will be. If you can get to the dentist before it turns into severe periodontitis, you can save your teeth and reduce the type of gum infection you get. It is important that you pay close attention to the many signs and symptoms of gum disease. It often starts with the red, swollen gums, as well as gums that bleed easily. It may then advance to other symptoms, such as a bad taste in your mouth, bad breath that doesn't go away with mints or brushing your teeth, or teeth that feel loose. You may also have a different bite than you used to have, which is a sign of your teeth shifting because they are loosening from the gum disease.
Some People Have a Higher Risk
You may also not realize that some people have a higher risk of getting periodontal disease, even if you have excellent oral hygiene. For example, if you smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco, you may have a higher risk of getting gum disease. Your genetics may place a role, along with having teeth that are difficult to clean because of being severely misaligned. Pregnancy, diabetes, and taking certain medications can increase your risk of getting periodontal disease. This includes calcium channel blockers, cancer therapy drugs, and steroids.
If you have signs of periodontal disease or you are at a higher risk for developing it, it is important that you schedule routine visits with your dentist. They will inform you of proper treatments to put a stop to the gum disease.