Millions of people have periodontal disease and don’t know it. Gum disease is typically a silent disease. In the beginning stages (gingivitis), you may not notice any symptoms. As the disease progresses signs include:
Symptoms of moderate to advanced gum disease (periodontitis) can be noticeable and include:
Periodontal disease begins when plaque, which is a sticky-film form of bacteria, builds up on the tooth surface, causes gum inflammation. If the inflammation is ignored, plaque begins to build up and can quickly harden into calculus or tartar—a rough, porous substance that cannot be removed by brushing alone. Over time, this progression can lead to severe inflammation, bone loss, gum recession and tooth loss.
Inadequate oral hygiene, smoking, genetics, dry mouth, stress, medications and hormonal changes can also increase your risk of developing gum disease. Have your teeth professionally cleaned and checked at least every six months.