Are Toothaches a Symptom of Periodontal Disease?

woman in a sweater with a toothacheSeveral things can warn you of impending periodontal disease. If your gums are red or swollen, or appear darker in some areas than normal, you might have cause to worry. The more periodontal disease progresses, the more symptoms you’ll exhibit, and in time, it may even cause your teeth to ache (even though it doesn’t directly affect your tooth structure). Unlike a cavity, however, which might exhibit tooth sensitivity as one its earliest symptoms, toothaches related to periodontal disease typically mean that the condition has advanced beyond its initial stages.

Teeth Roots, Gum Recession, and Teeth Sensitivity

One of the purposes of your gum tissue is to protect your teeth’s roots as they emerge from your jawbone. When periodontal disease ravishes your gums, it causes the tissue to separate from your teeth, also known as gum recession. Since your teeth’s roots are not coated in enamel like their crowns are, they become sensitive when exposed by receding gums, sending sensory information to the tooth’s nerves, which are housed in the pulp and connected to the roots.

Earlier Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

While your teeth may take a while to become sensitive from gum disease, gum recession actually occurs much earlier. As oral bacteria gather along your gum line, they release toxins that attack the tissues and ligaments between your teeth and gums. As gum recession begins, more bacteria gather in the small periodontal pockets that form, exacerbating your condition. Before toothaches develop, you might notice the presence gingivitis—the early stage of gum disease—through other signs and symptoms, such as;

  • Bleeding gums when you brush and floss
  • Red, swollen, angry-looking gum tissues
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away


Often signifiicant disease may progress with no symptoms of pain.  That is why an evaluation from your periodontist is so important. To learn how to keep your teeth and gums healthy for life, subscribe to this blog, and visit Dr. Kania for a consultation. As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants to restore teeth lost to dental disease or trauma. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, visit our office or contact us today at (760) 642-0711.