Periodontal disease is diagnosed by a dentist or hygienist through a periodontal examination. This type of exam is provided as part of your regular dental checkups. When you receive a periodontal examination, a dental professional will gently measure the pockets (spaces) between the teeth and gums. Deeper pockets, along with other symptoms, usually indicate periodontal disease.
Common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
- New spaces between teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Receding gums
- Red and puffy gums
- Pus around the teeth and gums
- Tenderness or discomfort
Based on the presence of these symptoms and your pocket depths, Dr. Paul Agyekum will be able to diagnose if you have gums disease, and which stage of the disease you are in:
- Gingivitis – The earliest and most mild stage of gum disease. In this stage, your gums are infected and irritated by plaque and its toxin by-products, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.
- Periodontitis – In this stage, the plaque in your mouth hardens into tartar (calculus). As this tartar builds up, it causes gum recession, and deeper pockets form between the teeth and gums. Pus may also fill the pockets. Slight to moderate bone loss may occur.
- Advanced Periodontitis – A severe stage of gum disease. Gums, bone tissue, and periodontal ligament continues to be destroyed. If the disease is not treated, the affected teeth will become very loose, and may even fall out.
Periodontal disease has also been linked to a number of other serious medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, bacterial pneumonia, and low birth-weight and premature babies.
You can minimize your risk of developing periodontal disease by practicing good oral hygiene, maintaining a balanced diet, and visiting the dentist regularly.
To learn more about how periodontal disease is diagnosed, and to schedule your appointment with our dental professionals in Detroit, Michigan, please call Ryan-Eight Mile Family Dentistry or Paul Dental Group.