Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease that not only has the potential to cause bleeding and inflammation of gum tissue, but it can also cause destruction to the bones that support your teeth. While bleeding and swollen gums are the most common symptoms of periodontitis, it can also cause changes in your body that you may not be aware of. Here are three silent symptoms that may be related to periodontitis and what you can do about them:

1. Arterial Inflammation

Gum disease, especially severe forms of gum disease like periodontitis, can heighten your risk for developing systemic inflammation. When you have gum disease, the bacterial process can cause your body to release substances known as pro-inflammatory cytokines. 

When large amounts of cytokines are released into your bloodstream, a body-wide inflammatory response can develop. Not only can this response cause local reactions, such as joint pain and redness, it can also cause inflammation of your arteries. This can raise your risk for a heart attack or stroke if left untreated, so at the first sign of bleeding or swollen gums, see your dentist for evaluation and treatment. 

2. Facial Burning

If you have periodontitis, you may experience abnormal sensations in your face such as burning, numbness, tingling, or prickling sensations as a result of facial nerve inflammation.  Infections of the teeth, gums, or sinuses can cause irritation, damage, or inflammation of your cranial nerves, such as the facial nerve, and in some cases, these infections can cause problems with your optic nerve, olfactory nerve, and lingual nerve. 

If this happens, you may experience vision problems or problems with smelling and tasting. In addition, you may also experience burning sensations on your tongue and lips. If you develop any abnormal sensations in your facial area, see your dentist who will evaluate your gums to determine if you have periodontitis. 

3. Tonsil Enlargement

Infections of the gums can travel to your throat and tonsils. While you may not notice any gum inflammation or irritation, the bacteria from the infection can cause an infection and subesquent enlargement of your tonsils. 

You may also experience a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, a bad taste in your mouth, or excess salivation. In addition to visiting your dentist, make an appointment with your physician. If you have a bacterial tonsil infection, you may need to take antibiotics. In addition to clearing the infection you have in your throat, oral antibiotics may also help improve the condition of your gums. 

If you develop bleeding or swollen gums, or if your gum tissue appears redder than normal, see your dentist, such as Sun Dental. The sooner gum disease is recognized and treated, the less likely you will be to develop complications, such as bone loss, infection, or body-wide inflammation.