Signs & Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

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Periodontal disease (periodontitis), is the gradual condition which results in the recession of the gum or jawbone, and ultimately tooth loss. Periodontal disease may lead to severe health problems in various parts of the body due to the toxins found in plaque. When the gum tissues become inflamed, the destructive results include the irritation of the gingiva (gum tissue). This in turn causes bacterial infection (gingivitis) which results in the damage of the underlying bone and gum tissue.

Depending on the form of periodontal disease at hand (chronic, aggressive, necrotizing periodontitis, and periodontitis), each carries its own specific symptoms. Regardless of the character of the disease, all require rapid treatment by a dental professional to cease the possibility of bone and tissue loss.

Common Signs & Symptoms

Regular dental visits should be a priority because periodontal disease is not easily felt during its initial stages. It is extremely important to note that periodontal disease can progress without any signs or symptoms such as pain.  This is why regular dental checkups are exceptionally important. Described below are some of the most common signs and symptoms of periodontitis.

A general dentist or periodontist should be contacted as soon as any of the following symptoms are identified: 

Random bleeding: One of the most common symptoms is unexplained bleeding while brushing, flossing or eating food. The tissues are more susceptible to bleeding when toxins in plaque cause a bacterial infection.

Longer-looking teeth or loose teeth: Gum recession is another sign of periodontal disease as toxins destroy the tissues surrounding the gum and bones, causing the teeth to look longer. Even more, rapidly progressing periodontitis is correlated with loose or shifting teeth. During the destruction of the bone tissue, teeth that usually attach normally to the jawbone are prone to shifting in position.

Pain or redness: If the gums are red, swollen, or in pain for an unexplainable reason, it is a sign of periodontal disease. It is crucial to stop the infection in its early stages before it impacts the gum tissue and jawbone.

Bad breath/halitosis: Although breath odor can be natural based on the foods consumed, it may also be caused by old food particles that remain on the teeth and below the gum line. Debris and bacteria can colonize in deep pockets as well, causing a foul odor.

Pus: Pus oozing from between the teeth is a definitive sign that a periodontal infection is in progress.  The pus is a result of the body trying to fight the bacterial infection.


What are the treatments for Periodontal Disease?

Surgical and nonsurgical treatments are available, but the treatment used depends on the condition of the patient’s teeth, jawbone, and gums. A compressive examination of the mouth must be performed prior to any treatment recommendation.

What are some common treatments for periodontal disease?

Scaling and planing: The bacteria and tarter must be scrapped off in order to obtain the health of the gum. The cleaning and treatment of the gum pockets with antibiotics assuage the infected areas.

Tissue regeneration: When destruction of bone and gum tissue occurs, grafting techniques encourage regrowth. The regeneration process can speed up when a membrane is rooted into the affected areas.

Laser Surgery: Also known as flap surgery, this surgical procedure shrinks the pocket size between the gums and teeth.  An alternative choice is the surgery of the jawbone, which aims to remove depressions in the bone that colonize bacteria.

Dental implants: Implanting prosthetic teeth into the jawbone can restore the physical features and functionality of the mouth when there is tooth loss. Tissue renewal procedures may be obligatory before placing any implants in order to strengthen the bone.

Please contact your dentist concerning any further questions about the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease.

Experienced and Highly-Trained


Southern California Family Dentistry - Hossein Jahangiri DDS - Dentist - Whittier, Lake Forest, San Clemente


General, Implant & Cosmetic Dentist, Clinical Director, SCFD & Portside Dentistry


With Locations in Whittier, Lake Forest and San Clemente