How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

senior man suffering from a toothache

Anyone can develop gum disease. You may have had it at one point and not realize it. Early symptoms often aren't painful and are reversible with good oral Hygiene habits.

Minor gum disease is referred to as gingivitis, and advanced cases are called periodontitis. Prompt action is essential at either stage.

The infection can spread and affect not only your gums, but your tooth and jawbone as well. It helps to know what to look out for. Let’s talk about the potential signs of gum disease.

Gum disease symptoms

Here’s a list of symptoms associated with gum disease. Let your dentist know if you notice any of them.

  • Swollen and tender gums.Healthy gums are pink and firm. Unhealthy gums are red, tender, and swollen. Gum disease starts with inflamed gums that can bleed easily when you brush or floss.

  • Receding gums.Several factors can cause the gums to shrink, and this includes gum disease. Harmful bacteria can destroy gum tissue and cause the gum to pull away.

  • Sensitive teeth.When the gums recede, the roots of the teeth become exposed. This can heighten sensitivity when you eat or drink anything hot or cold. Tooth sensitivity can cause severe discomfort and impact your eating habits.

  • Loose teeth.Gum disease can break down the bones and cause the teeth to loosen. Pockets form as the gum pulls back from teeth. Debris can accumulate in these spaces and irritate the gums further. The teeth start to lose their anchor and become wiggly. Without proper treatment, this can result in tooth loss.

  • Bad breath.Chronic bad breath that lasts even after brushing can be a sign of gum disease. Plaque buildup triggers gum disease. Plaque hardens when it remains on the teeth and turns into tartar, infecting the gums. Teeth are harder to brush when there’s tartar on the surface. This can cause gum disease to progress and damage the bone. Also known as perio breath, the bad odour can become more pronounced as the gum disease worsens.

Individually, the symptoms listed above may not be related to gum disease. To find out the cause of the problem, see your dentist for an examination. Routine oral checkups allow your dental team to spot potential problems in your mouth and address them before they develop.

Diagnosing gum disease at the dental office

Poor oral Hygiene is the most common gum disease culprit. Boosting your dental care habits and seeing your dentist regularly will lower your risk.

Your dentist takes a look at your medical history and habits to identify potential factors during your oral exam. They also inspect your mouth for tartar buildup or any visible signs of gum disease.

Your gum pockets are also measured. Pocket depth for healthy gums is around 1-3 mm. Anything deeper than that may indicate gum disease.

You may also need to have X-rays taken so your dentist can evaluate the gum pocket depth better.

After these steps, your dentist will be able to tell whether you have gum disease, how severe it is, and what steps you can take to reverse it.

Learn about your gum disease risk level in Kanata, Ontario

People have varying risk levels for gum disease. Your lifestyle can make you more vulnerable. Smoking, for instance, can lower your defenses and slow down healing.

Diet, stress, and having poor-fitting dental appliances can all contribute to gum disease. Sometimes, a look in the mirror isn’t enough to tell if you have gum disease. Schedule an examination as soon as possible if you feel there’s anything irregular with your gums or mouth.

Please get in touch with us at if you’re in Kanata, Ontario, and would like to have your gums assessed. Our friendly staff is happy to assist you in booking your consultation with the dentist.

Gum disease is common but it’s also preventable.