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Oral Care Guide For Teens - Oral Diseases - Gum Diseases(Periodontal Disease) - How do I know if I have gum disease

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The early signs of gum disease are redness and swelling of the gingivae which also bleed easily. However, it should better be confirmed by the dentist's diagnosis.

Mild gum disease
 
Symptoms
  • Gingival margin is red and swollen
  • Gingival (gums) bleed easily upon toothbrushing
  • Calculus may be accumulated
  • The teeth or gingivae may be painful
  • May have bad breath
    Photograph of a set of teeth with red and swollen gums calculus accumulated along the gum margin.
Management
  • Use oral care products such as toothbrush, dental floss, etc, to remove the dental plaque every day in the morning and before bed at night.
  • If calculus is present, have it removed by scaling by the dentist in order to facilitate your daily removal of dental plaque.
Then,the area with mild gum disease will heal by itself.

 

Moderate gum disease
 

Symptoms
  • Gingival margin shows marked redness and swelling
  • Gingivae always bleed upon toothbrushing
  • Gingival margin recedes, leading to the exposure of the root of the tooth and the tooth looks longer
    Photograph of the gum margin being accumulated with calculus  and the gums look severely red and swollen.  Gum recession occurs  leading to exposed root surfaces which makes the tooth look longer.
  • Periodontal pocket is formed (The inflammation of the tissues surrounding the tooth leads to the destruction of periodontal membrane. The tooth surrounding tissues and the root of the tooth become detached and a periodontal pocket is formed in between.)
    Animation showing a periodontal probe being inserted into a periodontal pocket to check its depth .

    A periodontal probe is inserted into a periodontal pocket

  • Calculus is accumulated
  • May have bad breath
  • The teeth or gingivae may be painful
Management
  • Consult a dentist immediately for 123scaling to remove the calculus and the dental plaque in the periodontal pocket. After the removal of calculus, it will be easier to thoroughly remove the dental plaque.
  • Use oral care products such as toothbrush, dental floss, etc., to remove the dental plaque every day in the morning and before bed at night to prevent gum disease from progressing or recurring.
  • After treated by a dentist, you must maintain good oral care habits and visit the dentist regularly for dental check-up.
 

Severe gum disease
 

Symptoms
  • Gingival margin shows marked redness and swelling
  • Gingivae always bleed during toothbrushing
  • Periodontal tissues recede markedly and the tooth looks longer and longer
  • Periodontal pocket is formed, pus may exude from the gingival margins and periodontal abscess may be formed
  • Calculus is accumulated
  • Bad breath
  • The teeth or gingivae may be painful
  • The affected tooth becomes loose and drifts away from its original position
  • The affected tooth may even fall out
    Photograph of the gum margin being accumulated with calculus  and the gums look severely red and swollen.  Gum recession occurs  leading to exposed root surfaces which makes the tooth look longer. Animation showing severe gum recession that makes a tooth becomes loose and about to fall out.
Management
  • See a dentist immediately for:]
    • Scaling to remove the calculus
    • Root planing or periodontal surgery to remove the dental plaque and calculus on the roots of the teeth and in the periodontal pockets
    • Receive antibiotic therapy as needed
  • Use oral care products such as toothbrush, dental floss, etc., to thoroughly remove dental plaque every day in the morning and before bed at night so as to control the progression of the disease.
  • After treated by a dentist, you must maintain good oral care habits and visit the dentist regularly for dental check-up.
 
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