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Learn about the stages of periodontal diseases, and how to prevent them.
Gums are an integral part of our mouth. They act as anchors for the teeth and help them perform multiple functions. Due to poor oral hygiene and lack of certain nutrients, gums can develop infections and diseases. Gum disease is known as periodontal disease. It is usually caused due to an ongoing infection. Periodontal disease not only affects the gums but the jawbone as well. In its extreme form, it can lead to tooth loss and other systemic issues.
Periodontal disease occurs when hardened plaque is deposited on the teeth. This disease develops and affects gums in four stages, among which only the first one is reversible. The stages of periodontal disease are discussed below:
Stages of Periodontal Disease
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. During this stage, plaque is buildup around the teeth. If diagnosed at this stage, periodontal disease can be reversed with proper treatment as it has not attacked bones yet. What makes periodontal disease particularly concerning is that the Gingivitis stage is painless and there are very few telltale signs of an underlying disease. This makes it difficult to detect periodontal disease at the Gingivitis stage.
Some of the signs of periodontal disease in the initial stage are:
- Occasional bad breath
- Swollen and red gums
- Bleeding gums when brushed or flossed
Proper dental treatment of Gingivitis and practicing good oral hygiene at this stage can reverse the disease and lead to healthier gums.
Slight Periodontal Disease
This is the second stage of periodontal disease. During this stage, the infection has gotten past the gums and spread to the bone. The extent of damage done during this stage is not reversible but it can be managed and further loss of bone can be prevented. During this stage, the infection starts to destroy the bone. The infection-causing bacteria becomes more aggressive and attacks the bone.
Some important signs of slight periodontal disease include:
- Red and swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Bleeding from gums when brushed or flossed
- Occurrence of probing depths in the gums that are 4-5 millimeters deep.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
- This is the third stage of advancement of periodontal disease. During this stage, the probing depths have increased and they are now 6-7 millimeters deep. The symptoms are similar to stage two but the disease has advanced. During this stage, the bacteria attack the bones at greater depths and penetrate the bloodstream and immune system as well.
At this stage, the damage cannot be reversed but can only be rectified. Scaling and root planing are performed to remove the deposits of bacteria that are deeply rooted in your gums, by this point. Treatment of moderate periodontal disease becomes crucial because if left untreated, the disease can progress to the bone and result in tooth loss, gum sensitivity, shifting of teeth, and continuous bleeding.
Advanced Periodontal Disease
This is the final stage of periodontal disease during which the infection penetrates even further down the system. If the periodontal disease has reached the advanced stage, then there is a 50-90% chance of bone loss. The symptoms of advanced periodontal disease are:
- Bone loss
- Red swollen pus-filled gums
- Cold sensitivity
- Loosening of adjacent teeth
- Painful chewing
- Extreme halitosis
During this stage, periodontal surgery or laser therapy is performed to get rid of the infection and clean the deep bacteria-filled pockets.
Periodontal disease is best treated during its initial stages. Consult Icon Dental Center if you notice the first symptoms of gingivitis. Our team of experts will provide you suitable treatment and nip the disease in the root. Call us at 206 225 2882. We have offices in Everett and Seattle.