What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

It can be hard to know if you have periodontal disease but several warning signs can signal a problem. If you notice any of the following, see your dentist:

  • gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • red, swollen or tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from your teeth
  • bad breath that doesn't go away
  • pus between the teeth and gums
  • loose or separating teeth
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • a change in the fit of partial dentures

A good oral hygiene routine practiced for a few minutes twice a day can help reduce your risk of getting periodontal disease and tooth decay. Always remember to brush and clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Symptoms of periodontal disease are:
  • Red, swollen or receding gums (may look like teeth are getting longer)
  • Pain, tenderness or sensitivity
  • Bleeding
  • Loose teeth
  • Pus or sores in gums
  • Unexplained bad breath
  • Change in bite or fit of dentures
Although bleeding while brushing, flossing or eating is a chief symptom of periodontal disease, symptoms can be mild or absent.

The symptoms of gum disease to look out for are gums that are swollen, red in color, bleed easily, and/or if the gums are pulling away from the teeth. Other symptoms are bad breath and loose or sensitive teeth. Ulcers, or areas of discolored gums that are painful may be the signs of advanced gum disease. Also, if there is pus or any other type of discharge between the teeth or on the gums themselves, this may be a sign of infection and a dentist should be immediately consulted.

Continue Learning about Periodontitis

What Is Gum Disease?
What Is Gum Disease?
“A chronic infection leads to chronic inflammation and an immune system that’s in overdrive all the time,” says Nancy Newhouse, DDS, MS, a board-certi...
Read More
How do I manage my periodontitis on a daily basis?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
If you notice swelling and redness in the tissues around your teeth, you may have periodontitis, a f...
More Answers
Can gums recede in a healthy mouth?
Yasaman S. Roland, DDSYasaman S. Roland, DDS
Yes. If one has a misaligned bite, trauma from the bite can injure the teeth and the surrounding tis...
More Answers
Walk Your Way to a Nicer Smile
Walk Your Way to a Nicer Smile

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.