Gum disease symptoms are not easy to identify. Although it is estimated that 80% of adults have some form of gum disease...a much lower percentage actually know they have it.
The first and most common sign of early gum disease (gingivitis) is bleeding gums.
Do your gums bleed when you floss or brush?
Chewing hard or crusty foods might also cause your gums to bleed if you have gum disease.
Swollen gums occur most often on the tongue side of the lower molars. Without a dental mirror those areas are impossible to see.
Periodontal (gum) disease can be localized...only in a spot or two. The gums in the front of the mouth can look pretty good. Molars...not so good.
Sore or painful gums can be a gum disease symptom but is not the most reliable one. Surprisingly, gum pain does not always accompany gingivitis, it is usually painless.
Receding gums is complicated and usually is caused by a combination of factors.
It can be an indication of more advanced gum disease. It could also be a result of having gum disease in the past.
Loose teeth are common in very advanced periodontal disease. At this point, the treatment becomes more involved and may be less successful.
Loose teeth can also be caused by the way teeth fit together. Teeth that are in a traumatic (uneven) occlusion may stay constantly loose. This condition can be improved by a simple and painless adjustment to make the bite more even.
Shifting or moving teeth that causes your "bite" to feel different. Gums that are sevely infected or the loss of supporting bone around a tooth can cause teeth to move.
A constant bad taste or bad breath that never goes away can be an indication of gum disease.