How Do I Know if I Have Periodontal Disease?

close up of patient's mouth

When it comes to treating and managing periodontal disease, early detection is key. This condition can gradually damage the gum and bone structures that support your teeth, and is the leading reason for tooth loss among adults. Dr. Tim Nguyen and his experienced team at Parker West Dental Associates routinely screen for signs of periodontal disease during dental exams to help Plano, TX patients understand how this gum infection might be impacting their health.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is a common but concerning oral condition affecting millions of Americans. It is generally caused by harmful oral bacteria residing within the sticky plaque that accumulates on the teeth. As a progressive infection, periodontal disease can lead to gum recession, bone loss, and even tooth loss — especially without proper care.

Do I have signs of gum disease?

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of gum disease that patients experience are:

  • Tender, red, or swollen gums

  • Bleeding gums

  • Bad breath (halitosis)

  • Receding gums

  • Sensitive teeth

  • Loose teeth

  • Pus around the gums

  • Bone loss in the jaw

  • Deep spaces between the teeth and gums

It is important to remember that while bleeding gums and other signs of gum disease in Plano, TX patients may be common, they are never normal and should be evaluated by a dental professional. The only way to know for sure if you have gum disease is through a periodontal evaluation and exam. During this visit, Dr. Nguyen can evaluate your symptoms and overall oral health to determine if gum disease may be affecting your smile.

How is gum disease diagnosed?

At Parker West Dental Associates, Dr. Nguyen and his dental hygienists combine two techniques to screen for gum disease. They use a small ruler to measure the spaces between the teeth and gums (called periodontal pockets) and take digital X-rays to evaluate the level of bone surrounding the teeth. Dr. Nguyen may diagnose gum disease if these pockets measure over 3mm deep and/or bone loss in the jaw can be viewed on the X-rays. As an experienced general dentist, Dr. Nguyen offers periodontal treatment at his Plano, TX dental practice, and can recommend the ideal form of care to treat the gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis stages of gum disease.

When to seek help for your gums

Keeping up with biannual dental cleanings and exams gives Dr. Tim Nguyen and his team the chance to identify gum disease or other oral health concerns as early as possible. But if you happen to notice signs or symptoms of gum disease or have other dental concerns between visits, we urge you to schedule a consultation at Parker West Dental Associates in Plano, TX for a periodontal exam. By addressing any periodontal concerns as they arise, you can help protect and preserve your oral health and smile for many years to come.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.