According to the CDC more than 80 percent of Americans have some form of gum disease. Unfortunately, most signs of periodontal disease are often unnoticeable and painless until the disease advances. If not treated, you could experience a host of complications, including gum recession or eventual tooth loss. The bacteria can also increase the risk of other health-related issues, such as heart disease, diabetes and low birth-weight babies. It is important to be informed of the warning signs.

Top Warning Signs

The earliest stage of the disease is gingivitis during which bacteria aggravate the gums, causing inflammation and bleeding. Proper treatment can stop it from advancing to periodontitis, which destroys the bone structure supporting the teeth. Although the symptoms of gingivitis often are subtle, this stage is not entirely without warning signs. The noticeable indications to watch for include:

• Persistent bad taste in your mouth or foul breath
• Changes in the way teeth fit together
• Painful, loose or shifting teeth
• Gums that bleed easily during brushing
• Red, swollen, tender and receding gums
• Formation of deep pus-filled pockets along gums

Because any of these symptoms may be indicative of a more serious health problem, you should visit your periodontist immediately. Laser dentistry treatments in the early stages can be particularly advantageous.

Laser Treatment

Dr. Leigh Kent uses the LANAP® protocol to treat moderate to severely progressed periodontal disease. A digital dental laser gently removes the infected portions of the soft tissue in the space between the teeth and gums, leaving healthy tissue intact. A local anesthetic is generally not needed, and patients can return to their normal activities sooner than with traditional treatment options.

We Can Help!

If you think you have gum disease and are exploring treatment options in Birmingham, AL contact our experienced periodontist, Dr. Kent, at (205) 255-3811.