The Four Stages of Gum Disease

 Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. It’s also incredibly common even though it’s highly preventable in most cases. A consistent, efficient oral hygiene routine that consists of brushing twice a day and flossing can do wonders to help prevent the complications that come with this damaging disease. Seeking professional care as soon as you notice an issue will help you reverse the damage before it becomes more severe. There are four stages of gum disease that increase in severity and invasiveness of treatment as it progresses.

Stage One-Gingivitis 
The earliest stage of gum disease is marked by swollen, red gums and sometimes bad breath. Bleeding gums is one of the most common symptoms and the easiest to notice. The good news is, since bone loss has not yet begun, the damage done in this stage of gum disease is usually reversible with treatment.

Treatment: Improving your oral hygiene routine is sometimes all that is needed to get teeth and gums back into optimal shape. Flossing is vital to remove bacteria and food debris from between teeth to avoid the infection that comes with gum disease in its later stages. It’s also a good idea to consult a dental professional for a deeper cleaning and exam if you suspect gum disease may be present.

Stage Two and Three- Slight to Moderate Periodontal Disease 
Gum disease often goes unnoticed completely during the first stage and this can continue with the second and third stages. That’s why it’s so important to be seen regularly for a professional exam and cleaning. The symptoms of second and third-stage gum disease include increased redness and swelling of the gums which may begin to bleed when brushing as well as flossing. Pain still may be absent even though damage is being done to the tissue and bones beneath the surface.

Treatment: When gum disease begins affecting the bones and infection spreads deeper, professional care is no longer just a recommendation but a necessity. Usually, treatment involves something called scaling and root planing which is essentially a very deep cleaning that removes the hardened plaque that has built up and caused the infection.

Stage Four-Advanced Periodontal Disease
When the bacteria has spread deep between the teeth into the far reaches of the gums causing loss to bone and tissue, the risk of tooth loss and other complications increases significantly. Teeth may become loose and sensitivity may be noticed. There is often pain when chewing if the disease has made it to this stage without treatment.

Treatment: It’s so important to seek treatment early in the process because once the disease has reached level four, surgery or laser therapy is often needed to reach the deep infection that has set in.

If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of gum disease, or simply haven’t come in for your twice yearly professional cleaning and exam yet, call us here at Dr. Norman’s office at 452-212-1975 so we can set you up with an appointment that’s convenient for you.

The Stages of the Dental Implant Process
New Bio-Foam May Replace Bone in Jaws