There are many telltale signs of early gingivitis, but even more critical than seeking early treatment of gum disease is making sure gum disease never develops. You can do that by seeing Midtown Manhattan general dentist Dr. Karthilde Appolon twice a year for dental exams and cleanings.

We all know the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and it’s become a timeless saying for good reason: It’s true. When caring for your mouth, teeth, and gums, the best action is preventative dental care with a highly skilled general dentist who can stop gum disease.

Today, we are going to look at the signs and symptoms of gum disease (medically known as “gingivitis” in its early stages and “periodontal disease” in its later stages). You should see Dr. Appolon for treatment before the beginning of gum disease, but if that ship has sailed, please contact Appolon Dental Group today to schedule your initial comprehensive exam. When found early, gum disease is highly treatable, and you can take an active role in preventing gum disease from progressing by following some simple instructions that Dr. Appolon and her dental team will provide at your visit.

How Gum Disease Develops

It is estimated that over half of adults over 30 have some degree of gum disease, but it’s important to know that gum disease can affect people of all ages. Gum disease does not only affect our older adult population; unfortunately, children can have gum disease, as can teens and young adults.

Dr. Appolon treats patients of all ages who are showing signs of gingivitis, and we provide education to our patients so they understand what is happening and why. Let’s take a brief look at how gum disease develops.

Gingivitis develops in a particular way and can even develop in people who practice good oral hygiene. First, plaque forms on your teeth; plaque is a sticky film you can’t see, made up of bacteria from foods and drinks. When plaque is not brushed and flossed away, it progresses into tartar; tartar is plaque that has remained on your teeth and has hardened under your gum line. When dental hygienists clean your teeth, they remove plaque and tartar that you cannot with brushing and flossing.

Tartar creates a protective shield for bacteria and irritates the gum line. Only professional gum disease treatment at Dr. Appolon’s office will remove tartar, as brushing and flossing at home will not.

The longer that plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more the gingiva will be irritated. In time, your gums become swollen tender, and may even bleed. You may experience tooth loss, bone loss, and periodontitis when gum disease is left untreated.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is a serious, progressive condition that, when left untreated, can result in bleeding, pain, swelling, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Periodontal disease, in its advanced stage, has been linked to serious cardiac events and other medical conditions that can be life-threatening.

Let’s look at the signs and symptoms of gum disease in its various stages, starting with the least serious of the stages: Gingivitis.

  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Increasingly larger gaps between teeth
  • Painful brushing
  • Painful flossing
  • Blood on the toothbrush and in the sink when you brush your teeth

Early periodontitis may cause the gums to become more inflamed and pull away from the teeth, creating “periodontal pockets.” Food, bacteria, and plaque begin to collect in the pockets, which can lead to infection. The surrounding bone becomes damaged by bacteria and the immune system’s response to infection, so bone loss occurs when periodontal disease advances.

Moderate periodontitis symptoms become more severe as the inflammation spreads, and at this stage, pain is likely. At this stage of gum disease, supporting bone structure is lost, teeth will loosen, and the gums will likely recede.

Advanced periodontitis will result in painful abscesses, and teeth will be lost from the spreading infection.

Learn More About Gum Disease Treatment in Midtown Manhattan

If you think you may have gum disease or are overdue for a dental exam and teeth cleaning, please call Appolon Dental Group at (212) 557-8668. You may also fill out our online contact form, and one of our team members will reach out to assist with scheduling or answer any questions you may have.