People usually don’t show signs of gum disease until they are in their 30s or 40s. Men are more likely to have gum disease than women. Although teenagers rarely develop periodontitis, they can develop gingivitis, the milder form of gum disease. Most commonly, gum disease develops when plaque is allowed to build up along and under the gum line.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Symptoms of gum disease include bad breath that won’t go away; red or swollen gums; tender or bleeding gums; painful chewing; loose teeth; sensitive teeth; and receding gums or longer-appearing teeth. Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem, which should be checked by a dentist. At your dental visit the dentist or hygienist should:
- Ask about your medical history to identify underlying conditions or risk factors (such as smoking) that may contribute to gum disease.
- Examine your gums and note any signs of inflammation.
- Use a tiny ruler called a “periodontal probe” to check for and measure any pockets. In a healthy mouth, the depth of these pockets is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters.
- Take x-rays to see whether there is any bone loss.
The dentist or hygienist may also:
- Refer you to a periodontist, an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease, who may provide you with treatment options that are not offered by your dentist.
If you, your family or friends need dental care, we would be honored to provide you with state-of-the-art dental care in our modern dental practice. Refer someone you love to someone you trust!
Presented as a service to the community by Doctors Hoover and Yanda,