We hear about gum disease all the time in toothpaste commercials and during evaluations with the dentist. But what exactly is gum disease, and how is it diagnosed? The team at Peters Dental Associates in Houston, Texas are here to help demystify gum disease and give patients a better understanding of what it entails.
What is gum disease?
Dr. M. H. Peters describes gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, as an infection that starts in the soft tissues of the mouth and spreads. In addition to spreading and impacting the teeth and bone of the jaw, it can also cause the infection to enter into the bloodstream and spread the infection elsewhere in the body. This is referred to as the “oral systemic connection” and can increase a patient’s chances of strokes or heart disease. With early diagnosis and treatment, many patients can restore their smile, while late-stage periodontal disease can only be managed, not cured. Because this condition can spread and become a permanent problem, it is vital that patients see their dentist regularly to catch it early enough for successful treatment.
How is gum disease diagnosed?
Gum disease is often diagnosed during an evaluation with a trained and experienced dentist who knows how to spot the signs of gum disease. Patients who are experiencing the following signs and symptoms will want to speak to their dentist as soon as possible to obtain a definitive diagnosis:
- Bleeding of the gums when brushing and flossing
- Sore, red, and swollen gum tissue
- Shrinking of the gum tissue/pulling away from teeth
- Pocket formation between teeth and gums
- Loose or lost adult teeth
- Presence of bacteria in the mouth
See the dentist as soon as concerns arise
If you are faced with the possibility of having periodontal disease, it is a good idea to work with Dr. M. H. Peters of Peters Dental Associates to get a proper diagnosis and speak to a professional about treatment options. His Houston, TX area practice is conveniently located at 2508 Bay Area Boulevard, Ste. #100 and is open and available to new patients in the community.