What are the Early Signs of Gum Disease?

By: Dr. Patrick V. Nicosia


Just because gum disease or gingivitis is common – with up to 80% of people having it in one form or another – doesn’t mean it is harmless or should be ignored. When left untreated, gum disease can progress into a more advanced and serious condition known as periodontitis, which can actually pose problems not only to your dental and oral health but to your overall health as well. In almost all cases, catching gum disease in its earliest stages results in an easier course of treatment and better outcomes, but it can be difficult for patients to recognize early gum disease on their own. For this reason, it is critical that patients visit their dentist for regular exams and preventive cleanings. Dr Patrick V. Nicosia D.D.S., M.S., one of Houston’s premier Periodontists and gum disease experts specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease in all its stages and utilizes the most advanced diagnostic tools and treatment technologies available today to help patients protect and/or restore their health. Keep reading to learn what signs and symptoms of early gum disease to keep an eye out for and how you can discourage gum disease. 


Is gum disease serious? 

Gum disease in its earliest stages may be a nuisance, causing unwanted symptoms like bad breath or bleeding gums. When left untreated, gum disease can progress to periodontitis (infection of the gums and bone) which is thought in some cases to contribute to COPD, organ damage, cardiovascular issues, and other systemic complications. To prevent these issues, patients should adhere to a proper oral and dental hygiene routine, make healthy lifestyle choices, and visit their dentist for regular exams and cleanings. 


Recognizing gum disease early is key 

Gingivitis is much easier to treat than advanced periodontal disease, though it can be harder to identify on your own. Even when periodontal disease progresses, it may not cause discomfort or pain despite doing significant damage to your gum tissues, teeth, and bone structure. During your regular dental exams and cleanings, Dr. Nicosia and his  skilled dental team will carefully evaluate for plaque or tartar buildup beneath the gumline that is known to cause periodontal disease. In the meantime, some signs of early gum disease you can keep an eye out for at home include:   

  • Red gums  
  • Swollen gums  
  • Bleeding gums  
  • Blood in sink after brushing or flossing


When gum disease is identified early, it can be managed and reversed, helping to preserve your dental health and oral tissues and structures. 


How to prevent gingivitis 

Whether you have already had your gum disease treated and want to avoid recurrent gingivitis or you are hoping to avoid gum disease altogether, use these helpful tips:   

  • Brush twice daily  
  • Floss once daily 
  • Rinse with mouthwash  
  • Visit your dentist for exams and cleanings every six months 


Protect your oral health with advanced periodontal treatments in Houston, TX  

Gingivitis, periodontitis, and other forms of gum disease can progress quickly and become harder and more uncomfortable to treat as they do, making it critical to intervene at the earliest possible stage. For more information about preventing and/or treating your gum disease in Houston, TX, call Patrick V. Nicosia D.D.S., M.S., Inc. to schedule your private consultation with Dr. Nicosia today. 

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