Stages of Gum Disease

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Gum disease is a serious threat to your dental health. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum tissues and if left untreated can affect the bone that surrounds and protects the teeth. Gum disease is caused by the formation of plaque. Plaque is a sticky, clean substance that can build up on the surface of teeth. Unchecked gum disease can lead to loose teeth even teeth that fall out.

The three stages of gum disease are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. At the early stage the inflammation of the gums has just begun. The gum tissue is irritated, red and swollen. At the early stage if treatment is started gum disease can be reversed.

The bone and connective tissue that holds the teeth in place are not yet affected by gum disease in this first stage. Besides noticing red, swollen gums, you may also notice that there is blood on your toothbrush while brushing. Periodontitis is the next stage of gum disease and it is at this stage that the supporting bone and gum tissue that is connective in nature and hold the teeth in place are involved in the gum disease.

You may notice pockets of pus just below the gum line. These pockets trap food and plaque. Further damage can usually still be prevented if an immediate improvement is made to dental home-care. Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease and is where all the connective fibers and bone supporting the teeth are destroyed. Teeth will shift and loosen and perhaps fall out. The bite can be affected and teeth may be lost if treatment is not started soon.

Improving dental health can prevent gum disease. It is vital to remove all plaque and tartar from the teeth’s surface and below the gum line. Brushing your teeth after eating, rinsing your mouth with clean water when you can’t brush, flossing at least once a day and limiting sweets and starches from your diet are all things you can do to help prevent gum disease.

Symptoms of gum disease:

·    Red, puffy, tender and swollen gums

·    Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing

·    You look in the mirror and your teeth look longer because your gums have receded

·    Your teeth seem to fit together differently when you bite down

·    Pus comes out from between teeth and your gums

·    You have bad breath

·    You have a bad taste in your mouth

Treating gum disease:

In the early stage gum proper brushing and flossing techniques that are done on a daily basis can usually reverse disease. Improvements in diet can also help prevent gum disease. If you have plaque or tartar build-up have a dentist clean your teeth professionally to remove the plaque and tartar.

If you have severe gum disease, a root planing procedure can be done to smooth irregularities on the roots of the teeth, which makes it more difficult for plaque to stick. Regular checkups are important to reverse early stage gum disease from turning into serious gum disease.

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One Response to “Stages of Gum Disease”

  1. Periodontitis is usually chronic because it is slowly progressing. Recall that first we see gingivitis (inflammation of the gums with no active bone loss) before the bone loss (periodontitis) starts. Gingivitis can be seen fairly soon after bad hygiene starts, and usually goes away when local causative factors are removed. Periodontitis, however, takes years to start and the bone loss is slow. It happens after years of gingivitis.

    When the teeth are cleaned and the plaque removed, the bone loss will stop (providing the patient improves their oral hygiene habits). This is how it is treated. Rather than saying that periodontitis is “incurable,” it is better to say that it is “irreversible” since the bone does not regrow and the bone loss is permanent. But as long as the bone loss is stopped, the patient does not have periodontitis.

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