What are the stages of gum disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused by bacterial growth in the mouth, in between the teeth and along the gum line. Some cases of gum disease can go completely unnoticed while others can have dangerous health implications if not treated properly.

Understanding the different stages of periodontal disease will help you evaluate your gum health and learn when to seek professional help. If your gum disease is progressing, it’s important to see an experienced periodontist for treatment, like those on our team at Village Periodontics & Dental Implant Center in The Villages, FL.

Stages of Gum Disease

Periodontal disease can be prevented by practicing consistent, good oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth and flossing daily eliminates food particles, bacteria and plaque buildup which are the root cause of gum disease.

When caught in the early stages, gum disease is easily treatable. However, if left untreated, periodontal disease can progress and cause severe complications such as bone and tooth loss.

Luckily, there are several symptoms you can recognize to determine each phase of periodontal disease.

Stage 1: Gingivitis

The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Most Americans have a mild case of gingivitis and some don’t even know it. Gingivitis is caused by a buildup of plaque and can result in inflammation and irritation of the gums.
A person who has gingivitis often experiences bleeding gums, especially when flossing or brushing their teeth. In the gingivitis stage, there are usually no painful symptoms.

Stage 2: Mild Periodontitis

When gingivitis is left untreated it can progress into a more severe stage of gum disease, the earliest stage of periodontitis. This happens when the infection advances deeper into the tissues connecting the teeth to the bone, resulting in initial bone loss.
In some cases, this stage is not very noticeable. However, this stage is the beginning of the long-term effects of periodontal disease and should be treated by a professional to help stop the infection before it attacks the bones, tissues and teeth.

Stage 3: Moderate Periodontitis

If you reach this stage of periodontal disease you may notice your teeth look longer because of the receding gum line. The teeth begin to loosen, spread out or move around because the gum and bones supporting the teeth are decaying.
At this stage it may be painful to bite down or chew and you may experience bad breath. During this stage it is possible that you will begin to lose teeth and it is important that you seek periodontal treatment.

Stage 4: Severe Periodontitis

During the most advanced stage of periodontal disease, many of the teeth are already missing and the remaining teeth are loose because of the little tissue and bone supporting them. It is near impossible to chew thoroughly in this condition and immediate help is advised.

Treatment for Severe Periodontitis

Periodontists have treatment options, even for a patient with a severe case of periodontitis. At Village Periodontics, we have periodontal treatment options such as bone grafting, pocket reduction surgery, dental implants and more that we’re happy to discuss with you.
If you notice gum disease symptoms, don’t let them go untreated. At Village Periodontics serving The Villages, FL, and surrounding areas, we’re here to help you at any stage of periodontal disease. Make an appointment today and we can work together to find the most suitable treatment for your gum health.