What Does Gum Disease Look Like? A Comprehensive Guide for Concerned Patients
Gum disease, medically known as periodontal disease, is a common oral health issue that affects many people in the UK. If you’re concerned about your gums and think you might have gum disease, this guide will guide you through the signs and symptoms to look out for.
Please note that while this guide provides useful information on what gum disease looks like, it should not replace professional medical advice. If you have concerns, please book a consultation with our gum specialists here at Perio and Implants for a full diagnosis.
Remember, the sooner gum disease is identified, the easier it is to treat and prevent further damage to your oral health.
What is Gum Disease?
Before we discuss what, gum disease looks like, it’s a good idea to understand what it is. Gum disease is a bacterial infection that affects the gums which can destroy the bone supporting the teeth. It’s usually caused by poor oral hygiene, genetics and or smoking which allows plaque—a sticky layer of bacteria—to build up on the teeth and harden.
Gum disease can be broken down into two stages: gingivitis (the early stage) and periodontitis (advanced stage).
Gingivitis: The Early Stages
Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease. At this stage, the symptoms are often mild and may not be noticeable. However, some signs can give you a hint that something’s amiss:
- Red, swollen gums: Healthy gums should be pink and firm. If your gums are red, tender, or swollen, it could be an indication of gingivitis.
- Bleeding gums: This is one of the most common signs of gum disease. You might notice some blood when you brush or floss your teeth.
- Bad breath: Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth can be a sign of gum disease.
- Receding gums: If your teeth appear longer than they used to be, it could be a sign that your gums are receding, a common symptom of gingivitis.
Periodontitis: Advanced Gum Disease
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. The symptoms of periodontitis are more evident and can include:
- Loose or shifting teeth: As the disease progresses, the bone supporting your teeth can be lost, leading to lose or shifting teeth.
- Changes in bite: If you notice changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite, it could be due to advanced gum disease.
- Deep pockets between teeth and gums: Healthy gums fit snugly around your teeth. When you have periodontitis, these spaces (pockets) can become deeper.
Given that early-stage gum disease often presents with mild symptoms, it’s crucial to maintain regular dental check-ups. If you notice any of the above signs, schedule an appointment with our gum specialists as soon as possible. Remember, the sooner gum disease is identified, the easier it is to treat and prevent further damage to your oral health. Please note that while this guide provides useful information on what gum disease looks like, it should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult with your dentist or healthcare provider for accurate information.
Your oral health is a vital part of your overall well-being. So, keep up with good oral hygiene practices such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist regularly.
Stay healthy and keep smiling!
Note: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional specialist advice.