What Does Gum Disease Look Like?
Do you have healthy gums? Most people would say that they do. To that I ask, do you know what gum disease looks like? Most would hesitate on an answer. Healthy gums are pink or coral in color which is easy enough to identify. And to those who pay attention, in the beginning stages of gum disease you will notice swelling and reddening of the gums. This stage is called gingivitis. The problem is that the slight changes that take a person from healthy gums to gingivitis occur with little or no pain and often go unnoticed and untreated. Have you noticed that your gums bleed easily when you brush or floss?
Bleeding is a sign of poor dental health and may be present in this stage of gum disease. Gingivitis begins when plaque and tartar build up and the bacterial toxins inflame the gums surrounding your teeth. The teeth themselves are still firmly seated in the sockets. This stage is easily treated and reversed if you will follow proper at home oral hygiene and seek dental care from a professional.
The second stage of gum disease is periodontitis. In this stage of gum disease you will notice the inflammation has spread below your gum line. The inside layer of your gum and bone will begin to recede. Pockets called sulcus (a v-shaped crevice) that may become infected will begin to form between your teeth and gums. The severity of the disease is often measured by how deep the pocket formation is.
Healthy teeth have pockets that measure between 1 and 3 millimeters anything above this is a sign that you have gum disease. You may suffer from chronic bad breath and gum tenderness as well. This stage of gum disease is irreversible because bone and connective tissues gradually or progressively deteriorate.
Did you know that as gum disease reaches its final stages nothing is left to anchor your teeth into their sockets? Infection can cause pus to be present inside the pocket formations between your teeth and gums. You will experience your teeth shifting and becoming progressively looser. You may also notice changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down or mouth ulcers in the progressive stages of gum disease. If you do not obtain treatment for gum disease the result will be the loss of your teeth.
If you suspect any of the above symptoms I recommend you seek a professional dental care provider immediately. When gum disease is detected in the beginning stages it can be reversed, if untreated you are facing irreversible tooth loss. Several non-surgical and surgical dental procedures are available to restore your oral health. Ultimately your at home oral care such as brushing and flossing your teeth twice per day will be a critical step in preventing gum disease from developing or progressing.