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How is necrotizing periodontitis diagnosed?

The extremely bad breath characteristic of necrotizing periodontitis can lead doctors to suspect this serious gum disease even before the individual is examined. A visual exam will exhibit red, swollen, bleeding gums; eroded gum tissue; pockets of infection; gray or black dead (necrotic) tissue; possible missing teeth; and destroyed bone. Further diagnostic x-rays are sometimes taken as well. This will enable the doctor to see the extent of the damage. If the cause of the gum disease is not known, other tests may be performed.

Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums to determine whether you have symptoms of necrotizing periodontitis. Signs of this gum disease usually include red or swollen gums, a gray film on your gums, and crater-like sores between your teeth and on your gums. Your dentist will ask if you are having severe pain in your gums, bleeding, bad breath, or fever, and may examine your lymph nodes to see if they are swollen. X-rays may also be taken to determine how severe the infection is and the extent of the tissue damage.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.