How Is Gum Disease Diagnosed?

gum disease1We don’t often think about our gums unless they ache or bleed. Like our teeth, we sometimes take them for granted. But we’ve come to realize through research that our gums are very important to our health. We take care of our overall health by seeing our physician for regular check-ups. Because periodontal disease (gum disease) can affect the results of our check-ups, we need to take care of our teeth and gums just as diligently as we take care of the rest of our body. Your Encinitas, CA, periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania, is a trained periodontist, and will be happy to explain the link between periodontal disease and other systemic diseases.

Types Of Gum Disease

Gum disease can be due to improper, or insufficient oral health care. Chronic periodontal disease develops over time, and is usually most prominent during the later years of life. If you aren’t diligent with your dental care, don’t be surprised if you begin to develop periodontal disease.

Gingivitis–Gingivitis has been referred to as the first stage of gum disease. It is a mild form of gum disease that is limited to the soft tissue around the teeth, or the gingival tissue. The tissue can be tender, swollen, or bleeding due to an overabundance of bacterial plaque.

Periodontitis–Periodontitis is a severe stage of gum disease. It spreads beneath the gums, damaging the supporting tissues and bone.

How Is Gum Disease Diagnosed?

There are specific symptoms to look for when diagnosing periodontal disease. The most apparent symptoms include red, tender, swollen, or bleeding gums. You may also see tiny pockets of pus between the teeth. Your periodontist, Dr. Kania, is trained to look beyond the obvious. She will evaluate your teeth and gums to look for:

  • Receding Gums: Areas where your gums are shrinking, or pulling away from your teeth.
  • Plaque And Tartar: Areas of plaque which, if not removed, hardens into tartar and builds up on your teeth and below the gingival tissue.
  • Pockets: Areas where pockets form in the gum between your teeth.

If you present with any or all of these symptoms your dentist will order x-rays to determine whether or not the underlying jaw bone is healthy. Treatment depends on the extent the disease has progressed.

About Your Encinitas Periodontist:

To learn how to keep your smile healthy and beautiful so you can enjoy the benefits it offers, 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.