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Symptoms of periodontal disease may include:

  • Red, swollen, puffy gums
  • Tendency for gums to bleed, particularly with tooth brushing and flossing
  • Tender, sore gums
  • Tooth sensitivity to temperature extremes
  • Persistent bad breath—halitosis
  • Pain during chewing
  • Significant dental plaque
  • Loose teeth
  • Shrunken, receding gum line
  • Swelling of face and jaw
  • Pockets or gaps between the teeth and the gums
  • Abscesses, or pockets of infection
  • Pus oozing from the gums or between the teeth


Gum disease. American Dental Association Mouth Healthy website. Available at: Accessed July 27, 2011.

Gum disease symptoms. American Academy of Periodontology website. Available at: Accessed July 27, 2011.

Periodontal (gum) disease: Causes, symptoms, and treatments. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research website. Available at: Updated March 2011. Accessed July 27, 2011.

Last reviewed September 2015 by Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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