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Gum Disease Symptoms

Gum disease often starts as a small inconvenience, but can quickly escalate to a major oral health problem. In order to properly treat gum disease, it’s important to know just what gum disease is, and what symptoms you should be looking out for. By catching gum disease early, you’ll be able to reverse it—ensuring the long-term health of your teeth and gums.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is an inflammation of the gums caused by plaque at and below the gum line. The longer the disease goes untreated, the more the bacteria can grow and spread—causing more damage.

What Are the Different Stages of Gum Disease?

There are different stages of gum disease—each one worse than the last. If you handle the issue quickly, you may be able to stop the periodontal disease from becoming worse. If you wait too long, though, the gum disease will advance—leading to lasting and possibly irreparable damage. The three stages of periodontal disease include:


Gingivitis is the most mild form of gum disease, and can be easily treated. While gingivitis is annoying, it isn’t yet threatening to the teeth, gums and jaw bone.


At this stage, the disease has become more severe. The fibers and bone that hold your teeth in place may be damaged to a point beyond repair. At this stage, pockets begin to form below the gum line—allowing bacteria to grow and spread there.

Advanced Periodontitis

This is the final stage of gum disease, and the most destructive. At this point your jawbone may be compromised, and your teeth may begin to become loose. This makes it difficult to chew, bite or even speak. If you have allowed the issue to persist to a more advanced degree, your dentist may need to extract your teeth.

What Are Some Gum Disease Symptoms?

In order to avoid gingivitis, periodontitis or advanced periodontitis, it’s important to understand the symptoms of gum disease. Here are some gum disease symptoms—whether the gum disease in the beginning stages or the more advanced stages—to look for:

  • Swollen Gums
  • Red Gums
  • Bleeding Gums (Often During Brushing)
  • Bad Breath
  • Loose Teeth
  • A Bad Taste in the Mouth
  • Pus
  • Receding Gums

If you notice any of these gum disease symptoms, make sure to set an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible.

Gum Disease Treatment and Prevention

If you have gingivitis, don’t worry! It can be easily treated and even reversed. In order to make sure you catch it before it advances, though, you’ll want to make sure to visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings every six months. If they notice that your gums are infected, they may want to schedule a deep cleaning. If the issue is worse, you may need surgery. To avoid periodontal disease, make sure to brush floss and rinse twice a day. Also, make sure to visit your dentist regularly so they can diagnose gum disease early, and treat it before it causes severe damage. Finally, be on the lookout at home for gum disease symptoms.

Iowa Dental Groups offers periodontal therapy and treatments. Contact us today to find out more.

Interested in learning more about Gum Disease? Here's some information some common signs.

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Iowa Dental Group Des Moines

1233 63rd Street
Des Moines, Ia 50311
(515) 277-6358

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Our Des Moines' Dentists Bob Margeas DDS & Nicholas Economos are eager to help provide any answers you may have. Contact us today regarding optimal oral health.

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