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Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

While periodontal disease can become incredibly serious, it starts out as a mild and often overlooked condition. In fact, gum disease often begins with virtually no obvious symptoms, especially for smokers (nicotine limits the blood supply to the gums, masking the bleeding and swelling that normally accompanies gum disease). There are a number of key symptoms of periodontal disease you should keep an eye out for:

Bleeding Gums:

It's normal for gums to bleed when you first start flossing or if you haven't flossed for a long time, but that should fade after a few days – any other gum bleeding is a cause for concern. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss for a prolonged period, this is a major warning side.

Chronic Halitosis (Bad Breath):

Some forms of bad breath come from foods like garlic or onions, but if bad breath is persistent and doesn't go away, it could be a sign of gum disease.

Swollen or Inflamed Gums:

If your gums look red or swollen, that's often an early sign of periodontal disease.

Receding Gums:

Ever noticed your teeth looking longer than normal? That's not a sign of growth – it means your gums are receding, causing your teeth to appear longer because more root surface is exposed. This is a common sign of gum disease.

Sensitive Teeth:

When gums recede, they expose the tooth root, which isn't covered with the protective enamel that normally shields teeth. This can cause tooth sensitivity, which is another common sign of gum disease.

Periodontal Abscess:

Sometimes, bacteria can get trapped in a periodontal pocket (the area between the gum and the tooth). This can cause the area to swell, fill with pus, and become painful.

Loose Teeth:

In more severe stages of periodontal disease, the jawbone can begin to deteriorate, causing teeth to feel loose or migrate positions. This is a serious condition, and if you notice loose teeth, you should contact us immediately.

Periodontal Treatment Options

While periodontal disease is serious and can threaten the integrity of your teeth and smile, we provide a number of treatment options. Your dentist at Amar Dentals will work with you to choose the option that's right for you:

Full-Mouth Debridement:

This is essentially a more thorough form of teeth cleaning. We'll use a variety of specialized dental instruments to clear away plaque and bacteria, helping to clean the mouth and letting us see a clearer picture of your oral and periodontal health.


Scaling is the process of using specialized dental implements to scrape away the plaque, tartar, and bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Your dentist may use a manual handheld instrument or an ultrasonic instrument, which vibrates at a high frequency to aid in removal of plaque. In tooth scaling, your dentist will remove all decay above the surface of the gum line.

Root Planing:

Root planing is similar to dental scaling, but the process takes place underneath the gum line. As before, your dentist will use a manual or ultrasonic instrument to scrape away plaque and bacteria – but this time, it will happen underneath the gums, helping to reverse the effects of gingivitis and gum disease.

Depending on your specific case, we may use local anesthetics or antibiotics to keep you comfortable during the procedure or kill any bacteria present on the teeth. Your dentist may combine any of these techniques to attempt to reverse gum disease, and we're proud to offer all of them in our dental office. In some severe cases, we may need to perform periodontal surgery – and if that's the case for you, your dentist will talk with you to explain your options