By Dr. James Merlo and Dr. Mary A. Merlo-Murison
December 23, 2019
Category: Oral Health

Even minor changes in your gums can be signs of periodontal (gum) disease. Unfortunately, the disease can be devastating for your smile if you don't receive treatment as soon as possible. Here at the Chicago Loop, IL, office of Dr. Mary Merlo-Murison, we help you care for your gums with checkups, cleanings, and periodontal disease treatments. You may have gum disease if you experience any of these signs and symptoms:


Contrary to popular belief, bleeding gums aren't normal. If your toothbrush looks pink after your brush, you see blood on your gums, or you notice a coppery taste in your mouth, your gums may be bleeding. Bleeding gums can be a sign that you have gingivitis, the mildest, most treatable form of gum disease.


Pain in your gums can be an issue whether you have gingivitis or a more severe form of periodontal disease. Just like bleeding, pain is never normal. Let your Chicago Loop dentist know if your gums hurt.


Red, swollen gums are more likely to bleed or cause pain. Inflammation is an early warning sign of periodontal disease and should never be ignored.

Receding Gums

Do your teeth look longer than usual lately? They've probably begun to recede due to gum disease.

Tooth Sensitivity

As your gums recede, they expose your sensitive tooth roots. Sugary, hot, or cold foods/beverages irritate the exposed roots, causing pain in your teeth.

Pockets Around Teeth

If gum disease isn't treated in its earliest stages, you may eventually notice that deep spaces called pockets have formed around your teeth. As the pockets fill with debris and bacteria, bad breath and pain worsen and tooth loss can occur.

Loose Teeth or Dentures

The bacteria in your pockets attack and destroy gums tissue and the bones and ligaments that hold your teeth in place. If your teeth are loose, or you notice a change in the fit of your dentures, call your dentist immediately.

Regular dental cleanings offer a simple way to prevent and treat gum disease. In fact, a cleaning can reverse gingivitis symptoms. If you have more advanced periodontal disease, you may benefit from a deep cleaning to remove the plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Gum surgery may be needed to close pockets and add bone or gum grafts to replace damaged bones and gum tissue.

Concerned? Give Us a Call

Protect your gums with regular visits to the dentist! Call your Chicago Loop, IL, dentist, Dr. Mary Merlo-Murison, at (312) 726-2553 to schedule an appointment.