What are the Different Gum Disease Symptoms?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Swollen and bleeding gums, bad breath, and occasionally gum pain are the primary symptoms of gum disease. The gums are usually bright red and painful to brush, bleeding easily when a person attempts to floss. Gum disease symptoms depend on the type of gum disease, which is normally either gingivitis or periodontitis, both of which have similar symptoms, with the latter eventually presenting with more severe signs of disease. In fact, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis if left untreated, eventually leading to a loss of teeth due to bone destruction. These gum disease symptoms can normally be avoided with proper oral hygiene, including brushing at least twice daily and gently flossing at least once a day.

Red gums and swelling of the gums are characteristic gum disease symptoms. Healthy gums are pale pink in color and do not bleed when they are brushed or flossed on a routine basis. If these symptoms persist, gingivitis should be suspected, and it is usually considered wise to book an appointment with a dentist for a thorough cleaning. Swollen, red, and bleeding gums with no other symptoms might be an early case of gingivitis, which can typically be easily reversed with good oral hygiene and regular dentist visits. These gum disease symptoms could also be the cause of periodontitis that was originally just gingivitis, however, so getting treatment and advice as soon as possible is generally highly recommended.


Both gingivitis and periodontitis can make the mouth give off an unpleasant odor and cause pain. Bad breath is especially common among people who have either of these diseases. Minor pain normally presents itself when the gums are being touched, whether by a finger, tooth brush, or floss. Pain is not a reliable symptom of periodontitis or gingivitis, however, because both diseases can thrive in the mouth without ever causing pain. Some people make the mistake of assuming that painless bleeding during gentle tooth brushing is normal, but it typically means that recent oral hygiene was sub-par and gingivitis may be present.

The creation of pockets between the teeth and the gums is another gum disease symptom. These pockets are created as the gums recede from the teeth due to the buildup of tartar. The pockets can cause the teeth to become loose as well as further expose the teeth to the clutches of ravaging microorganisms. As periodontitis progresses, the gums continue to recede, further exposing more of the tooth bone and creating deeper pockets. This process continues, and the bones of the teeth are further attacked, continuing to loosen the teeth and threaten tooth loss.



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