The Warning Signs of Gum Disease

Most people with gum disease walk around completely unaware that they have it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of the American population over the age of 30 has some form of gum disease. Although the reasons they have it (and often don’t seek treatment for it) vary, one of the main problems is that gum disease doesn’t always let you know it’s there until it’s already progressed to the point where it’s a problem.

At WisNova Institute of Dental Specialists in Kenosha, Wisconsin, our team of periodontists is uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat your gum disease at any stage of progression. That’s because we offer a revolutionary way of meeting all your dental needs by staffing our state-of-the-art facility with top-notch endodontists, periodontists, dental anesthesiologists, and oral surgeons to cover a broad range of dental issues

Our comprehensive team gives you the peace of mind that you’ll receive full-spectrum care from a collaborative perspective. This multidisciplinary approach means that no matter how advanced your condition is, you don't need a referral, because all the Dental Professionals you need are under WisNova’s roof. 

When it comes to gum disease, our first priority is to help you prevent it. With that being said, we can also help you learn to spot the subtle signs and know when to come in for specialized treatment. Here’s what you need to know.

Gum disease 101

Healthy gums are critical to healthy teeth, as they protect the roots and help stabilize your teeth. But that soft tissue can become easily damaged and infected. If left untreated, your infection may lead to tooth loss and other overall health problems. Here’s how:


The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. This happens when you have a buildup of plaque and bacteria in your mouth that inflames your gums. You might notice a few telltale signs, such as:

Although some cases are caused by things beyond your control, such as: genetics, diseases and viruses, hormonal changes, and some necessary medications - gingivitis is usually preventable simply by following a good oral hygiene routine and regular cleanings by a professional. If you already have gingivitis, it’s treatable and reversible.


If you don’t notice your gingivitis or you ignore it, it advances to the next stage of gum disease called periodontitis. Although there are a few levels of periodontitis, it differs from gingivitis in that it means you have a full-fledged infection rather just inflamed gums. 

As periodontitis progresses, your gums get redder and more tender, they begin to recede from your teeth, making your teeth appear longer than they once were, and the infection begins to deteriorate your teeth and the underlying bone. 

How gum disease can make you sick

Whether you have gingivitis or periodontitis, it’s important to seek treatment immediately for several reasons. In addition to risking the loss of your teeth, you’re also gambling with your overall health.

An infection in your gums and teeth can allow harmful bacteria into the rest of your body where it can cause medical problems such as:

Medical experts aren’t sure if gum disease leads to these conditions or if some of these conditions trigger gum disease, but the link is clear. 

Treating gum disease with the revolutionary LANAP® protocol

Traditionally, periodontitis has required scaling to remove hardened plaque, or even surgical procedures, like tissue or bone grafting, to repair the damage. 

If we catch your periodontitis early enough, you may be able to benefit from laser therapy called LANAP. This advanced technology allows WisNova’s Dental Specialists to address your receded gums, clear out bacteria from between your teeth and under your gums, and promote the growth of new healthy tissue.

The best news is that you’ll feel less pain and have minimal bleeding, and your recovery time is only about one day opposed to the two weeks of down time that comes with surgery. 

If you’re noticing the early signs of gum disease, give WisNova Institute of Dental Specialists a call at 262-207-4481 to set up an appointment with one of our dental specialists. We can help you treat it and get back on track with a happy, healthy mouth.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What to Expect When Saying Goodbye to Your Wisdom Teeth

If you’re between 17 and 25, you’re in the prime of your life, excited about the future, and probably feeling your wisdom teeth come in. Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed, but if yours do, don’t panic. Here’s what to expect.