It is common knowledge that plaque buildup and harmful bacteria are the two main suspects behind the stages of periodontal disease. The accumulation of harmful bacteria and plaque on the gums and teeth can lead to a serious gum infection. As the disease progress slowly, it can cause severe damage to the gum tissue and bones. But, if periodontal disease is treated in its early stage and good dental hygiene is maintained, the damage can be prevented. There are various stages of periodontal disease from mild to advanced. Continue reading to learn more about each stage.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Before discussing the different stages of periodontal disease, let’s first find out what are the symptoms of gum disease. Gum disease may not be immediately obvious, which means that symptoms do not always appear or remain hidden until it is in an advanced stage. Listed below are the most common signs of gum disease:
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
- Swollen, tender and bright red gums
- Painful sores in the mouth
- Sharp pain in the mouth
- Receding gums
- breath and bad taste
- Loose teeth
- A slight change in your bite
- Gaps between the teeth
- Accumulation of pus between the teeth and gums
If you experience any of these symptoms or believe may have gum disease, it is wise to consult your dental professional immediately. If detected early and with proper treatments and surgeries, gum disease can be easily treated and the progression of the disease can be prevented. Most individuals who develop gum disease have never been to the dentist for a routine dental examination and cleaning, which is not surprising at all. Adults should be aware of an important fact of periodontal disease is that they could lose their teeth because of it. However, the great news is it can be prevented with proper dental hygiene.
Understanding the Stages of Periodontal Disease
Depending on how severe the gum infection is, the periodontal disease can be broken into four stages. Listed below are the different periodontal disease stages.
1. Gingivitis or Gums Inflammation
The gum disease is a earliest stages of Periodontal Disease is known as gingivitis or gums inflammation. It is the only stage where gum infection can be reversed because there is no bone loss yet. The absence of good dental health care practices is the primary cause of Gingivitis. Not brushing or flossing regularly can lead to excessive plaque and bacteria accumulation between the teeth and gums. One of the first signs of gingivitis or gums inflammation is bleeding gums during and after brushing or flossing, however, many symptoms do not cause any pain, which is what makes this early stage so common. While due to poor dental care routines, nearly all individuals will develop the infection while only 15 to 20% of them will develop more advanced stages of the disease.
2. Initial Periodontitis
Once you are at the second stages of Periodontal Disease , the gum inflammation is progressing and the infection has spread to the bone and begun to attack bones. As a result, gums begin to pull away or separate from the teeth, further trapping plaque, where harmful bacteria and food particles accumulate leading to gum infection. At the initial periodontitis stage, the infection is no longer reversible but can still be managed. Therefore, it is very important to diagnose the disease in the initial stages to tackle the spread of gum infection.
3. Mild or Moderate Periodontitis
The third stages of Periodontal Disease also referred to mild periodontitis stage is where things start to get serious. The gum pockets start getting deeper than usual and you may begin to experience bleeding and swelling around the teeth and gum recession. With those larger pockets between your gums and teeth, even more, harmful bacteria attack your jawbone and teeth. In the mild periodontitis stage, you might also experience significant bone loss (30 to 50 %) due to continued bone and gum destruction. Several deep-cleaning treatments can remove bacterial buildup and provide you with some relief.
4. Advanced Periodontitis
At this stages of Periodontal Disease, the chances of bone loss from the roots of the tooth are severely increased. The final stage of gum disease or advanced periodontitis involves shifting teeth, teeth looseness, and swollen, painful and red gums. Moreover, it leads to pain and discomfort while chewing eating and even smiling and cause teeth to fall out. This stage requires surgery or laser therapy to prevent the disease from progressing even further. If left unattended it may lead to gum recession thereby exposing you to a number of dental complications.
As you can see, keeping proper dental hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent gum disease and related symptoms and dental complications. But if you believe you have any symptoms of initial or later stages of periodontal disease, it is crucial to see a dental professional as soon as possible.