Some symptoms of gum disease are:

– Gums that bleed easily
– Bad breath or taste
– Loose or shifting teeth
– Sensitivity or painful teeth
– Red swollen or tender gums

If you have any of these symptoms, call us for an appointment, and we can determine the true cause of the symptom or symptoms.

Periodontal Disease

This disease is often called the silent disease because one may have periodontal disease and not even know it.

Periodontal disease is diagnosed by Dr. Dersh during a thorough periodontal examination. This exam should be done at every one of your dental check up visits.

Components of this exam will include a periodontal measurement of your gums with a small instrument calibrated in millimeters to measure the pocket or space between the tooth and gum.
In a healthy mouth, the pocket should read 3 mm or less with no bleeding.  With periodontal disease, the pockets will be deeper than 3mm, and there may be bleeding upon probing, or inflammation, and possibly tooth mobility.

Once the periodontal exam is complete, will can make a diagnosis, this will include needed x-rays and an evaluation of the gum tissues themselves as well. Generally the categories will be:

  • Healthy

No signs of inflammation, deeper pockets or bleeding

  • Gingivitis

This is the first stage of periodontal disease. Plaque and the bacteria irritate the gums, which will cause inflammation and tenderness.  The gums are very likely to bleed in the gingivitis stage. In many cases, the gingivitis is reversible.

  • Periodontitis

When plaque hardens into calculus (tartar), it builds up above and below the gumline causing the gums to recede or pull away from the teeth.  This process causes deeper pockets to form, and they become collection areas for bacteria and food debris.  The gums at this point will be very irritated, inflamed and bleed easily.  Mild to moderate bone loss may be present due to the destructive progression of the disease process.

  • Advanced Periodontitis

In this stage, the periodontal supporting structures, including the gums and bone become destroyed.  The teeth can start to loosen, and can be lost without treatment.  Generalized moderate to severe bone loss may be present.

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