Most people know about gum disease and how it causes your gums to look swollen and bleed when you brush your teeth. They also don’t know that gum disease has serious health effects. The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis and it’s often overlooked by people. If it’s not treated early on, it will progress to a higher stage and result in serious health consequences. Next time you see bleeding gums, associate it with gum disease, the silent killer.

female sits in exam chair while dentist inspects her gums

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Recognizing the symptoms of gum disease is the best way to know when to seek treatment. The earlier gum disease is detected, the easier it is to treat and the fewer health consequences that will occur. If you notice any of the following symptoms, please schedule an appointment at Kuhn Dental Associates in Aberdeen, NC at your earliest convenience.

  • Swollen, red, bleeding gums
  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Constant metallic taste in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Changes in tooth alignment or bite
  • Sores in the mouth

Gum Disease Stages

There are four stages of gum disease.

Gingivitis – This is the earliest form of gum disease. During this stage, gums are usually bleeding and irritated. We usually recommend that patients practice better oral hygiene at home and visit us for additional cleanings.

Early periodontitis – During this stage, the gum disease has progressed and requires a root scaling and planing (deep cleaning) to remove plaque and calculus from underneath the gum line. Once the plaque and tartar are removed and proper oral hygiene is in place, the gums will return to health.

Periodontitis – Once gum disease progresses to the next stage, irreversible damage begins to occur to the bone. This stage requires much more aggressive treatment.

Advanced Periodontitis – In the last stage of gum disease, the bone is destroyed and teeth may begin to shift or loosen resulting in tooth loss or a change in bite. Extractions may become necessary in this stage.

Health Effects of Untreated Gum Disease

Without treatment, gum disease can increase the risk of several health problems including:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Osteoporosis

The reason gum disease is known as the silent killer is that most people don’t associate gum disease with these serious health risks that may result in death.

If you suspect you have gum disease or early warning signs of gum disease, it’s important to seek gum disease treatment immediately to protect your oral and overall health. Please contact us at Kuhn Dental Associates at (910) 692-4450 to schedule an appointment at our Aberdeen dental office.