Could a Toothache Mean You Have Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease (more commonly known as gum disease) can have a wide variety of symptoms. For example, because it’s localized to certain areas of your gums, you may notice spots where the tissue has become discolored, swollen, and/or slightly separated from your teeth roots. However, despite developing in your gum tissues, the disease can also lead to varying levels of tooth sensitivity, especially as your teeth roots become increasingly more exposed. For patients in Encinitas/San Diego, seeking attention for a toothache as soon as possible is the best way to determine if the discomfort is related to the development of gum disease.

How Gum Disease Affects Your Teeth

When healthy, your gum tissues effectively seal and protect the parts of your teeth roots that extend out of your jawbone, before they connect to their enamel-covered crowns. However, when harmful oral bacteria accumulate along your gum line, they can settle between the tissues and your teeth roots, leading to an infection known as gingivitis. As the infection matures, it causes your gums to separate, or recede, and leave your teeth roots exposed to more oral bacteria, food debris, and other irritants. If not treated soon, then your gum disease will progress and the sensitivity your teeth (and gum tissues) will become increasingly more severe.

How to Know for Sure

The only way to know for sure what’s causing your teeth to ache is to seek a professional diagnosis. After a thorough examination, your periodontist can determine if your discomfort is caused by excessive gum recession and exposed teeth roots, as well as what treatment option or options would be best for addressing it. For example, if your gingivitis is still in its early stages, then you may be able to effectively reverse or manage it with periodontal cleaning (scaling and root planing). In some cases, laser treatment and/or a gum graft may be necessary to reestablish your good periodontal health.

Find Out if You Have Gum Disease

While tooth sensitivity could have a variety of different causes, it can sometimes mean that your gums are receding due to gum disease. For more information, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kania by calling her periodontal office in Encinitas/San Diego, CA, at (760) 642-0711.