Gum Disease Symptoms and Treatment

Gum Disease Symptoms and Treatment

Gingivitis is a form of gum disease wherein only the gums are infected. If not treated, the infection could move lower and affect the jawbone, a more severe variety of gum disease known as periodontitis.

Both conditions can increase your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other grave conditions. Early detection is key.


Early warning signs to note include:

Bad Breath: bacteria in the mouth feed off plaque and release foul-smelling toxins. Thus, seriously stinky breath means an abundance of bacteria and could be a predictor of serious gum disease.

Inflamed Gums: tender, swollen gums are usually the first signs of gum diseases. The gum also tends to easily bleed when you brush or floss.

Shrinking Gums: when bones begin deteriorating due to diseases, gums start to separate or recede from the teeth.

Sensitive Teeth: when your gums recede, the dentin – the sensitive part of the tooth – are exposed. Therefore, hot or cold drinks will cause pain.

Shaky or Unstable Teeth: Gum disease can weaken the jawbones that hold the teeth in place, loosening them.


Your dentist will assess the extent of damage to know where to begin.

Deep cleaning: This is usually the initial course of treatment for gum disease. The dentist uses special instruments to carefully and deeply clean under the gum line.

Your dentist can also scrape off the tartar above and below your gum line in a process known as scaling.

Root planing is another cleaning procedure which entails smoothing out the rough surfaces of the tooth root to help the gum reattach.


  • Antiseptic chips: these are inserted inside pockets in your gums where they gradually release medication to close the spaces and remove bacteria.
  • Antibiotic gel: Your dentist applies this to pockets in the gum after deep cleaning to keep the infection in check.
  • Enzyme suppressant: this tablet is used right after deep cleaning to blocks certain enzymes found in your mouth from breaking down gum tissue.
  • Oral antibiotics: these are recommended for more serious infections.
  • Surgery: when deep cleaning doesn’t solve the problem, an operation might be required. Surgery procedures include:
  • Gum graft surgery: tissue removed from another part of the mouth is grafted onto exposed tooth root to halt decay and bone loss and protect sensitive teeth.
  • Flap surgery: the surgeon lifts the gums to remove tartar deep inside and stitches them back tightly to stop further tartar formation.

Antimicrobial mouthwash can also be included in your daily oral hygiene routine to control bacteria.

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What we are doing to keep you and your family safe when you come to our office

We hope you and your family are in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While may things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up to date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff.

For example:

  • Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You will be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
  • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
  • You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you are offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
  • We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at one at a time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.