skip to Main Content
(337) 704-2126 Schedule an Appointment 1601 Kaliste Saloom Rd, Lafayette LA 70508

What is Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease) and do I have it?

We’ve all heard the term gum disease or more specifically, periodontal disease, but do you actually know what that is? Gum disease is actually a very common disease that most adults are living with undiagnosed. Research shows that almost 50% of all adults are living with some form of gum disease. In this post, we’ll be defining what gum disease is, be explaining the symptoms to be aware of, and simple ways to prevent or treat this condition. If you haven’t seen your dentist in a while, it may be time to schedule an appointment to ensure you aren’t suffering from gum disease or any other undetected dental problems. If you’re in Lafayette, LA and looking for a new dental provider, call Maestri Family Dental to schedule an appointment today.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease or Periodontal disease is a condition where the gums that support your teeth become infected. If untreated, the soft tissues that surround your teeth can start affecting the bones that hold your teeth in place. The main concern of gum disease is that it could lead to your teeth loosening or eventual tooth loss.

Although gum disease is a common condition, it is usually preventable and if treated early enough, it can be reversed. If the condition is too progressed, bone damage may be irreversible. Through good oral health habits, you can keep your gums healthy and free of disease. In order to prevent gum disease, you should be brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and keeping up with regular dental visits.

Why is gum disease important?

Knowing the signs and symptoms of early gum disease can help prevent your case from worsening. Early treatment is important or it can lead to more serious issues down the road. Untreated gum disease can lead to bad breath, bleeding gums, sensitivity and discomfort, tooth loss, or even surgery.

Once you reach a certain stage of gum disease, it is not curable and can only be managed through appropriate treatment. If the bacterial infection leads to bone loss, there are only a few options to mitigate the damage that has already occurred.

Other complications that may occur from periodontitis is bacteria entering your bloodstream and affecting other parts of your body. It can be linked to respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease, preterm birth, and increased issues with diabetes. Through routine examinations, a dentist can detect and diagnosis how much bone loss has taken place and what steps need to be taken to treat your condition, depending on what stage you are at.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

The early signs of gum disease:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Bleeding or soreness when flossing or brushing
  • Pain or discomfort when chewing
  • Gum recession (gaps or spaces between your gums and teeth)

Stages of Gum Disease

  1. Gingivitis: This is the most common stage of gum disease that people experience. At this stage, the condition is reversible with good oral health habits. You may notice bleeding gums when flossing or brushing, and this is typically a sign that you need to be cleaning your teeth more regularly to reverse the gingivitis. It is also important to schedule a routine cleaning with your dental provider if these symptoms don’t subside after at-home oral care is improved.
  2. Mild Periodontitis: At this stage of gum disease, you may notice your gums increasingly more infected and inflamed. This is when progressed gum recession takes place and more space between the gums and teeth become more noticeable. It is important to visit your dentist at this stage to get a treatment plan in place.
  3. Moderate Periodontitis: This is when the infected gums have more bacterial growth leading to bad breath or even puss-filled pockets around the tooth. The condition can now start infecting bone around the teeth and you are more at risk for potential tooth loss. You may also be at risk for the bacteria to spread to other parts of your body.
  4. Advanced Periodontitis: Bone loss is occurring at this stage and your teeth may start to loosen and fall out due to the structural bones around your teeth being compromised. It is imperative to seek dental care to try and save your teeth and reduce the risk of infection spreading.

5 Tips and Reminders to Prevent Gum Disease

  1. Brush your teeth two times a day or after every meal
  2. Floss daily to remove plaque buildup in hard-to-reach places
  3. Use an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing
  4. Avoid smoking or tobacco use
  5. Keep up with regular dental visits and cleanings


As you can see, preventing gum disease can be fairly simple through good oral hygiene. Treating your symptoms before they worsen can result in the disease being reversed and reduce the risk of severe bacterial infections and tooth loss. The integrity of your teeth relies on healthy and supportive gums. Once your gums and bones that support your teeth get infected, it is very hard to reverse this condition and you will be at risk of needing surgery or loosing your teeth.

If you’re noticing any early signs of gum disease with symptoms related to swollen or red gums, you should make an appointment with your Lafayette Dentist so it does not develop into later stages of periodontitis. You can also read here about other ways to improve your oral hygiene and overall health.



Back To Top