What Does Gum Disease Look Like? Discover The Key To Early Treatment

what does gum disease look like sydney

what does gum disease look like sydney

It is estimated that three out of every ten of all adults in Australia have some form of gum disease. The disease is more common in adults over 40 but can occur at any age.

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a condition in which the gums become inflamed and begin to pull away from the teeth. In its early stages, it may not cause any pain or discomfort. However, if left untreated, it can lead to more severe problems, such as tooth loss, infection, and bone loss. 

Early detection and treatment can help prevent mild gingivitis from progressing to periodontitis, which can cause bone deterioration and tooth loss. Understanding what gum disease looks like is the key to early treatment. 


What Does Gum Disease Look Like? Causes of Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums. If plaque is not removed, it can harden and form tartar. This calculus irritates your gum tissue, causing it to appear red, swollen, and bleeding.

If left untreated, your gums can pull away from your teeth, exposing the tooth root and gum pockets. This allows bacteria to build up in the gum pockets, leading to infection and a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. 


What Does Gum Disease Look Like: Symptoms of Gum Disease

Healthy gums are pink and firm. They should not bleed when you brush or floss your teeth.

Symptoms of periodontal disease include: 

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth 
  • Bad breath 
  • Loose teeth 
  • Sensitive teeth 
  • Receding gums (gums that pull away from the teeth)



How is Gum Disease Diagnosed?

If you think you might have periodontal disease, visit a dentist as soon as possible. Dentists use several different tools to assess the health of your gums, including:  


  • Visual Examination 

Your dentist manually examines your mouth for signs of disease, such as red, swollen, or bleeding gums. This involves using a small mirror to look at all surfaces of the teeth. Your dentist also feels around the teeth and gums to look for troubled areas.

At Toothsome Implants Chatswood, we also use state-of-the-art intraoral cameras to get precision images of your mouth for more accurate diagnoses. 


  • X-rays 

X-rays are used to assess the health of your teeth and gums and look for signs of bone loss. 


  • Periodontal Probe 

This small, thin instrument measures the depth of the pockets around your teeth. The measurements are then compared against the gingival index. This tool is used to assess the severity of periodontal disease according to pocket depth. The higher the number on the probe, the more advanced your stage of gum disease.  


What Does Gum Disease Look Like: Stages of Gum Disease

Your gums can be an indicator of other severe health conditions, so it’s essential to be aware of the different stages of the disease.


  • Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. At this stage, the gums are red and swollen, but there is no permanent damage to the teeth or gums. 


  • Mild Periodontitis

The next stage of periodontal disease is mild periodontitis. At this stage, the gums are still red and swollen, but there is some permanent damage to the teeth and gums. The pockets around the teeth deepen to around 3-5mm, making them more challenging to clean. 


  • Moderate Periodontitis

At the moderate stage of periodontitis, gums begin to recede and pockets, approximately 5-7mm deep, form between teeth and gums. Bacteria thrive in these pockets, causing inflammation and bone loss. If left untreated, moderate periodontitis can progress to severe periodontitis.


  • Severe Periodontitis

Severe periodontitis is the final stage of periodontal disease and is indicated by a pocket depth of 7-12mm. The damage to the gums and supporting bone structure is typically irreparable by the time it reaches this stage. Once severe periodontitis sets in, you may be unable to save your teeth. 


What Does Gum Disease Look Like: Treatment for Gum Disease

The severity of the periodontal disease determines the treatment you need. In mild cases, improving your oral health routine with twice daily brushing and flossing may be enough to control the disease.

At Toothsome, we practice gentle periodontics and have several treatment options available to our patients.


  • Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling involves removing tartar from the teeth and gum line using a manual or ultrasonic scaler. Root planning involves smoothing out the roots of the teeth to help prevent further plaque and tartar buildup. 


  • Antibiotics periodontal disease signs sydney

Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics, such as tetracycline hydrochloride, doxycycline, and minocycline, to kill the bacteria causing the disease. You must follow the dosage instructions and complete the entire course of antibiotics to prevent reinfection.


  • Gum Flap Surgery

Gum Flap Surgery is used for moderate to severe periodontitis. Gum tissue is surgically lifted, and the bacteria causing the disease is cleaned out.


  • Gum Grafting

This is when gum tissue is taken from another part of the mouth and used to cover the exposed roots of the teeth.


  • Guided Tissue Regeneration

GTR treatment is used for patients with moderate to severe periodontitis with accompanying bone loss. It uses a resorbable or non-resorbable artificial membrane barrier to block soft tissue growth and prompt slower-growing bone cells. This allows the bone to regenerate while supporting gum health. 


Protect Your Gingival Health at Toothsome

If you are concerned about the health of your gums, book a consultation with Toothsome. We’ll assess your teeth and gums and provide a personalised treatment plan to restore your oral health.


Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Disclaimer: The content provided on this website is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. Any reliance you place on the information provided in these blogs is, therefore, strictly at your own risk. We shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage resulting from the use of the information provided on this website.