Signs and symptoms
In the early stages, periodontitis has very few symptoms. Often the disease has progressed significantly before symptoms are seen. Symptoms may include the following:
- Red, tender, swollen or bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
- Gum swelling that recurs
- Bad breath (halitosis), and a persistent metallic taste in the mouth
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Painful chewing
- Gingival recession, or longer appearing teeth
- Loose teeth
- Spaces developing between teeth
- Sensitive teeth
Patients should realize that the gingival inflammation and bone destruction are largely painless. Periodontal disease is a serious infection that, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss.
Smoking – Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease. Smoking may also lower the success rate of treatment.
Diabetes – People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including periodontal disease. Healing may also be compromised.
Genetics – Some individuals are more prone to severe gum disease than others. Thorough family history and early interceptive treatment may help them keep their teeth.
Medications – There are a number of medications that can reduce the flow of saliva, Mouth is vulnerable to infections such as periodontal disease with low saliva flow. Some medications can cause abnormal overgrowth of the gum tissue.
Stress – It has been shown that increased levels of cortisol due to stress can lead to more destruction of the gums and alveolar bone
Hormonal changes (Pregnancy and Puberty) – hormonal changes can affect many of the tissues in your body, including your gums. Your gums can become sensitive, and an increased susceptibility to gum disease may be seen. Additionally, pregnant women with gum disease may be more likely to deliver preterm, low birth weight babies.
Other Systemic Diseases – Diseases that interfere with the body’s immune system may worsen the condition of the gums.