How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

As a practicing general dentist in Burbank, CA who has been treating gum disease for over seventeen years, I’m often asked, how do I know if I have gum disease?  Gum (periodontal) disease is a serious condition that has major repercussions when it’s left untreated.  Unfortunately, it’s estimated that 75 percent of adults in the United States are suffering from some degree of this disease.  Are you one of the 75 percent?  If so, you are at a higher risk for tooth loss, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer due to the gum infection.  Learn more about gum disease in Burbank, CA including its symptoms, treatment, and prevention, today!

Symptoms of Gum Disease:

It’s not difficult to identify gum disease, unfortunately, because the symptoms of gum disease are painless in the early and moderate stages, the disease is often allowed to progress and go ignored until it reaches its later stages.  By this time, treatment now becomes more difficult, expensive and time consuming – and the risk tooth loss can be great.

Here are some of the common warning signs associated with gum disease:

  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Bleeding gums with flossing and/or brushing
  • Gum recession
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Increased tooth sensitivity

Many older adults, tobacco users, and people who suffer from conditions that weaken the immune system are at an especially high risk for developing gum disease.  Additionally, a temporary form of the disease is associated with pregnant women (known as “pregnancy gingivitis”).

How Gum Disease Is Treated:

Once gum disease has been identified, treatment methods will depend on the severity of the disease. In its earliest stages, often the condition can be reversed with increased attention to at home brushing and flossing and a few extra visits to the dentist in Burbank, CA.  Early and moderate stages of gum disease can be treated using non-surgical scaling and root planing (also known as a “deep cleaning”).  This method works by removing the mineralized tarter, plaque and bacteria above and below the gum line.  When gum disease reaches an advanced stage, surgical treatment is often indicated and necessary to treat the disease.  Regardless of the treatment, it is critical that all plaque be removed daily from your teeth and gums with proper brushing and flossing.  Doing so will allow you to maintain and control the progression of the disease.  Learn more about how we can help you with that with our Dental Fitness program!

Gum Disease Prevention:

The good news is that gum disease is preventable with proper brushing and flossing.  To keep your teeth and gums healthy, make sure you’re brushing thoroughly and gently for at least two minutes, at least twice a day. Brushing and flossing after each meal is recommended for patients who are at an increased risk of gum disease. Daily flossing removes the bacteria and food particles between your teeth that your toothbrush leaves behind.

In addition to effective daily brushing and flossing, it is very important to complement your at-home routine with regular visits to your dentist for a complete periodontal evaluation to determine your effectiveness with your home care.  When you do, our hygienists will measure your plaque control effectiveness and when necessary, coach you on how to be more effective in removing plaque so that the disease does not progress.

Questions? Need Gum Disease Treatment? Contact Us Today!

When was your last examination and dental cleaning in Burbank, CA?  Don’t forget that preventive care is crucial to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. If you have questions regarding your gum health, or if you suspect you might have gum disease, please contact Dr. James Segulyev today!  You can reach us at (818)846-6464, or email us at or by clicking on make an appointment link above!