Early Symptoms of Gum Disease and What You Should Do

Table of Contents

Symptoms of gum disease

Gum disease is common in both developed and developing countries. It is a health concern due to its high prevalence in adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Knowing that the condition is preventable and treatable if you maintain good oral hygiene and see your dentist at the first sign of gum disease symptoms is important.

Continue reading to learn more about the early symptoms and how to treat this condition.

Gum Disease: What You Need to Know

Gum disease, more commonly known as periodontal disease, is an infection that affects the tissues that support and surround the teeth. This is an infection of the gums that will progressively worsen. We distinguish two stages here:

  • Early-stage periodontal disease (gingivitis) includes swollen bleeding gums. Some people have no symptoms. It is reversible with timely treatment.
  • Advanced periodontal disease (periodontitis) occurs when the gums’ inner layer pulls away from the teeth and forms pockets. Periodontitis is characterized by bone loss that supports the teeth.

Gingivitis and periodontitis are serious oral health conditions linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, pneumonia, and cancer. Therefore, it is important to be aware of these conditions’ symptoms and seek early detection and treatment to reduce the risk of these serious health complications.

Symptoms of Gum Disease 

What does periodontal disease look like? There are different indicators for the early-stage and advanced stages of periodontal disease. 


Symptoms of Gingivitis Disease (Early Stage):

  • Dark, dusky red or purple gums
  • Sore, tender lips
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding, inflamed, puffy or swollen gums
  • Soft gums
  • Gums look as if they’re shrinking away from teeth
  • Pockets emerging between teeth and gums
  • Sensitive teeth
gingivitis gum disease vs healthy gums

Symptoms of Periodontitis Disease (Advanced Stage):

  • Sore gums
  • Swollen, bleeding, puffy or inflamed gums
  • Pain in the jaw
  • Trim pockets (2-3mm) around
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Unpleasant breath
  • Wobbly or loose teeth
  • Shifting teeth
  • Tenderness or pain suffering when eating
  • Teeth falling out
  • Thick, yellow fluid or pus on gums
  • Teeth look longer due to receding
  • Abscessed tooth

See a dentist right away if you observe any of these symptoms. The dentist will be able to diagnose the issue and make treatment recommendations. In addition, early gum disease treatment can help prevent the disease from progressing and tooth loss.

health teeth vs teeth with periodontitis

Treatment of Gum Disease

The periodontal disease treatment depends on the disease’s degree of severity.

In the early phase, your dentist will:

  • advise you to have your teeth cleaned by a hygienist.
  • advise you on how to keep your teeth clean, such as using interdental brushes
  •  advise you to quit smoking; if you smoke


If your periodontal disease is severe, you may need the following:

  • deep cleaning under the gums
  • antibiotics
  • gum surgery
  • tooth extraction


If detected and treated early enough, periodontitis can be stopped. In most cases, treatment is highly successful.


Prevention of Gum Disease

Keep an eye out for bothersome plaque if you want to keep your gums healthy. If you let it accumulate on your teeth, it can quickly lead to gum disease. Brushing your teeth regularly and cleaning between them (flossing) to eliminate plaque is the best approach to avoid this. So, if you want to avoid gum disease, follow these simple guidelines, and you’ll be OK!

  • Brush your teeth thrice a day with fluoride toothpaste – do not rinse after brushing; spit.
  • Every 1 to 3 months, replace your toothbrush.
  • Clean the gap in your teeth every day with interdental brushes or floss
  • Regular dental and dental hygienist visits are recommended, especially if you are pregnant or have type 2 diabetes.


Periodontal disease is a condition that can be prevented and treated by maintaining proper oral hygiene and having professional cleanings regularly. In addition, even the most severe forms of periodontal disease can be successfully treated with more excellent care than is typically required.


Causes of Gum Disease

  • Poor oral hygiene is usually the leading cause of gum disease. 
  • Poor nutrition makes it harder for your body to fight oral infections, which is why periodontal disease starts.
  • Certain medications: Dry mouth is also caused by some medicines, such as antidepressants.
  • Hormonal changes: Changes during puberty, menopause, and menstruation can make gums more sensitive. 
  • Grinding or clenching teeth: This puts pressure on the bones and gums, which speeds up the damage that occurs with gum disease.
  • Smoking: Did you know that people who smoke fewer than ten cigarettes daily are still two times more likely to get gum disease? This risk is even higher for heavy smokers. 
  • Illegal drugs: Drugs such as meth, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin create a dry mouth that produces less saliva, which is needed to keep the mouth clean by washing away harmful bacteria.  
  • Family history: Genetics plays a role in people who are more vulnerable to gingivitis, despite taking the best care of their oral hygiene. In such cases, early dental intervention is critical. 
maple ridge dentist teeth examination

When to See a Dentist

Only a dentist can detect and monitor your gum disease. For regular checkups, stick to the schedule recommended by your dentist. See your dentist when you observe signs of periodontal disease. The sooner you seek treatment, the better your chances of reversing periodontitis damage.

We at Westgate Dental Centre are firmly convinced that your oral health is critical. While adapting to your needs, our team provides a comprehensive, efficient, and cutting-edge service.

We offer the best preventive dental care to help you improve your oral health. In our acclaimed dental centre, our professionals are ready to give you the attention you deserve. You will receive the highest level of service and advice from our dentists to ensure your oral health is at its best, book with us today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, in the early stage of gum disease, it is possible to experience swollen gums that are constantly tender, chills, fever, and a runny nose if not addressed early.

The bacteria in plaque can transmit gingivitis from one person to another. This indicates that gingivitis is an infectious illness. Gingivitis can spread to everyone who comes into contact with someone who has a plaque, gingivitis, or poor dental hygiene.

People with heart valve problems are especially susceptible to gum disease. When you have gum disease, the bacteria in your mouth can enter your bloodstream, enter your heart, and directly infect the fragile heart valves.

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