The Stages of Gum Disease

Red, Swollen, or Tender Gums

Healthy gums should be firm and pale pink. If you notice that your gums are red, swollen, or tender, it may be a sign of gum disease. This is because gum disease causes inflammation in soft tissue around the gums, which can lead to discomfort and pain.

Bleeding Gums

If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth or floss, it could be a sign of gum disease. This happens because the bacteria that cause gum disease can weaken the gums and make them more susceptible to bleeding.

Receding Gums

Periodontal disease can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where bacteria can accumulate. If you notice that your teeth look longer than usual or that your gums are receding, schedule a checkup with Dr.Thomas.

Bad Breath

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be a sign of gum disease. The bacteria that cause gum disease can produce unpleasant odors that can linger in your mouth.

Loose or shifting teeth

Periodontal disease can cause the bone that supports your teeth to deteriorate, which can lead to loose or shifting teeth. If you notice that your teeth feel loose or are shifting out of place, it's important to see Dr. Thomas right away.

Changes in Your Bite

Gum disease can also cause changes in your bite, which is the way your teeth come together when you close your mouth. If you notice that your bite feels different or that your teeth aren’t coming together properly, it could be a sign of gum disease.

Pus Between the Teeth and Gums

In advanced periodontal disease cases, you may notice pus between the teeth and gums. It’s a sign of an infection and requires immediate treatment.

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Failing to brush and floss regularly can lead to the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that can cause gum inflammation.
  • Tobacco use: Smoking or using other tobacco products can significantly increase the risk of gum disease. These habits cause a decrease in the blood flow to the gums, making it harder for the body to fight off infection.
  • Genetics: Some individuals may be more susceptible to gum disease due to genetic factors.
  • Age: Older adults are more likely to develop gum disease, especially if they have poor oral hygiene habits.
  • Diabetes: Individuals with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease due to their compromised immune system and increased susceptibility to infections.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as antidepressants and heart medications, can cause dry mouth, increasing the risk of gum disease.
  • Hormonal Changes: Women are more likely to develop periodontal disease during pregnancy or menopause due to hormonal fluctuations. Morning sickness can also damage the integrity of your oral health.
  • Poor Nutrition: A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates can increase the risk of gum disease as it promotes the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Take Control of Your Oral Health Today

At our dental practice in Billings, MT, we offer gum disease treatment to remove bacteria and plaque from your gums and teeth and promote healthy gum tissue growth.
Don't wait until it's too late to take care of your oral health. Call us today at (406) 298-4485 if you are a new patient, or if you are a current patient at (406) 256-5165 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Thomas. We’re committed to providing our patients with high-quality, compassionate dental care, and we look forward to helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.