Novato General Dentist Explains Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease

Written by Dr. McConnell on Oct 30, 2012

Periodontal disease is a serious oral health concern. We see patients every day at our Novato General Dentist Office who exhibit warning signs for periodontal disease and aren’t even aware that these signs or symptoms are an indication that gum disease is present.

How does periodontal disease develop? Throughout the day, bacteria build up on the teeth and around the gumline, developing plaque. Plaque is the sticky bacterial film coating enamel and oral tissue as we eat, drink, and speak. Flossing and brushing are useful for removing plaque build-up. But even diligent at-home oral health care cannot eliminate plaque completely. When plaque remains on the teeth it hardens into a substance called tartar.

We’ve listed some of the more common signs of periodontal disease below:

  • Gums bleed during brushing or flossing, or during gentle probing
  • Gums appear swollen and red or inflamed
  • Permanent teeth feel as if they are becoming loose
  • Your dental bite (how your teeth fit together) seems to have changed in recent months
  • Your gums seem to be “pulling away” from your teeth
  • Teeth appear longer as gum tissue recedes
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth is an ongoing issue even after use of mouthwash or brushing your teeth

Even patients who take extra care with their oral hygiene can develop periodontal disease. While proper brushing and flossing remove much of the bacterial plaque that lingers on teeth, at-home brushing alone cannot remove all the plaque. When plaque calcifies it hardens and becomes tartar. Tartar can only be removed by your dental hygienist.

The best “cure” for periodontal disease is prevention. Without professional cleanings, tartar continues to build up on teeth, causing dental decay, gum disease, and eventually tooth loss. Contact the Marin County Dentist to make an appointment for a comprehensive dental exam and professional cleaning. Working as a team, we can make periodontal disease a thing of the past.