Gingivitis is a common disease that is completely reversible during its early stages. Unfortunately, if you fail to take the right steps, the condition could worsen and lead to periodontitis, which is not reversible. There are several signs that may indicate that your gingivitis has gotten worse and you are headed toward periodontitis, and if you experience them, it is important to visit us right away to discuss your options.
Red, Swollen Gums that Bleed Easily
One of the earliest signs of gingivitis is gums that appear red and puffy, as well as gums that bleed easily when brushing and flossing. Good oral hygiene can help to correct this issue, but if your gums continue to experience these symptoms – or they seem more severe – your gingivitis may be progressing.
Loose or Shifting Teeth
When gingivitis is untreated or is not treated properly, it can advance into periodontitis. This disease can lead to the inner portion of the gum and bone pulling away from the teeth to form pockets. Then, since so many of the supporting structures of the teeth are no longer in their proper positions, the teeth could feel loose or shift in the mouth. Your once straight smile could suddenly appear crooked, and gaps, crowding, and bite issues may result. The teeth may become so loose that they fall out altogether or require extraction because there is no longer enough supportive structures to keep them in place.
Chronic Bad Breath
Most cases of chronic bad breath are caused by anaerobic bacteria that live in the mouth and congregate in the gum pockets. Gum disease allows these pockets to form and provide a place to harbor the odor-causing bacteria. A thorough gum cleaning in our office will help to clean out these pockets of bacteria, allowing them to heal. The result should be healthier gums as well as less prevalent bad breath.
Receding gums are a condition that is characterized by gums that pull back from the surface of the teeth. This can ultimately expose the root surfaces. It is a serious consequence of poor oral health and worsening gingivitis, and it can ultimately lead to tooth loss. While there are many treatment options available depending on how severe the loss of tissue might be, the best thing to do is to treat your gingivitis before it even occurs.
Pus between the Teeth
A gum abscess may result from worsening gingivitis and can display as pus between the teeth. Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that develops with plaque accumulation, and when plaque isn’t removed, an infection could result in abscess formation. Besides pus, symptoms could include severe pain, especially when chewing, loose teeth, and sensitivity to hot and cold.
Developing Health Conditions
Did you know that there is a significant connection between gum disease and certain health conditions? If you have been living with gingivitis but now have medical issues like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, or respiratory disease, your gum disease could be getting worse. This occurs when the bacteria associated with gum disease travels into the blood stream and affects other parts of the body. Alternatively, treating your gum disease could improve your overall health and the prevalence of these issues.
If you’re concerned that your gingivitis might be getting worse and developing into periodontitis, don’t delay in getting an appointment set up with us. We can help reverse the problem before it leads to long-term damage, but we need to see you in our office to discuss treatment options. For your convenience, fill out an online appointment request form, or call us today at 479-646-0706.