(281) 370-6600
6605 Cypresswood Dr # 275
Spring, TX 77379

How do I Know if I Need Periodontal Therapy?

July 28, 2017

A beautiful pregnant woman looking into a mirror as she brushes her teeth.Periodontal (gum) disease often goes undiagnosed in the early stages. If you keep up with your daily brushing and flossing and visit us twice a year, we should be able to partner with you to prevent gum disease. However, despite best efforts, many patients still experience adverse oral health effects caused by this common condition. We screen for periodontal disease at every appointment by completing a process known as periodontal charting. One of the earliest indicators of gum disease is increased space between the gums and tooth roots. During gum charting, we measure this space as part of each checkup, and if we notice changes, our dentist can begin treatment right away to prevent any issues before they begin. If you do happen to develop gum disease, despite the best efforts of C. Gary Simmons, DDS and his Spring dental team, we can help you with periodontal therapy. The only way to know for sure that you are in need of treatment for this common oral health condition is to receive an accurate diagnosis from a dentist. However, you can keep reading to learn more about the common warning signs and risk factors for gum disease. If you experience any of these concerns, it’s essential that you contact our team right away to schedule an evaluation.

Early Warning Signs of Gum Disease

In the early stages, gum disease is known as gingivitis and its symptoms are very mild. Many patients overlook them altogether, but please let us know right away if you notice any of the following changes to your oral health:

  • Swollen, inflamed gum tissue
  • Red or darkening gum tissue
  • Gum bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Sensitive gums

Late Stage Gum Disease Symptoms

Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. This is the stage at which gum disease begins to have profoundly adverse effects on your oral and overall health, and the disease has been linked to such chronic and systemic illnesses as high blood pressure and heart disease. Tell Dr. Simmons right away if you have any of these issues:

  • Receding soft tissue (teeth that appear longer)
  • Teeth that feel lose or look farther apart
  • Sores, Infection, or pus production at the gums
  • Chronic bad breath not improved with cleaning
  • Teeth that no longer fit together properly (bite doesn’t close completely or feels off center)

Risk Factors for Gum Disease

In many cases, proper oral hygiene can completely prevent gum disease. However, many patients are predisposed to suffer from gum disease. Some of the risk factors for gum disease include:

  • Adults, beginning at age 30, are much more likely to experience gum disease
  • Smoking or smokeless tobacco usage dramatically increase risk
  • Some patients are genetically predisposed to suffer from gum disease
  • Stress is linked to numerous overall health issues that impede immune function and can contribute to the advancement of gum disease
  • Oral contraceptives, antidepressants, and medication for cardiovascular illnesses may all increase risk for gum disease
  • Pregnancy significantly increases risk for gum disease – so much so that the condition has its own name – pregnancy gingivitis
  • Poor nutrition or oral hygiene routines also put patients at risk for periodontal disease

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