Recent studies show that nearly 50% of American adults over 30 have gum disease. These findings are astounding, but one of the reasons the number is so high is because many people don’t recognize the early stages of periodontal disease. Gum disease progresses over time, so your moderate case of gum disease can become very severe and compromise the health of your entire mouth. Knowing the different stages of gum disease, along with what symptoms mark each, can help you to recognize and treat the disease early.
Stage I : Gingivitis
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, and occurs when plaque is allowed to stay on the teeth too long. Plaque is a colorless and sticky film that builds up on your teeth; it is full of bacteria and toxins that can cause infections. When plaque is left alone, it hardens into tartar, which further irritates the gums, leading to gingivitis.
Bleeding gums during flossing or brushing are a sign of gingivitis. During this stage, gum disease can usually be reversed with proper brushing and flossing accompanied with tartar removal.
Stage II : Periodontitis
If left untreated, gingivitis will turn into periodontitis. During this stage, bacteria works its way below your gumline and pockets start to form as your gums pull away from your teeth. These pocket trap food and more plaque, setting the stage for a vicious cycle of worsening infection. Your body’s immune system tries to fight the bacteria, but in the end this response damages the bone and connective tissue even more, and your teeth become loose.
During this stage, your gums continue to be susceptible to bleeding, and may frequently be painful. Once the disease has progressed this far, there is some irreversible damage.
State III : Advanced Periodontitis
Extremely severe gum disease is called advanced periodontitis. This is the final stage of gum disease. At this point, the fiber, bone, and connective tissue supporting your teeth are totally destroyed. Your teeth are likely to shift or loosen, and, even with aggressive treatment, your teeth may still need to be extracted. Missing teeth and advanced gum disease can also affect your bite, the way you speak, and the way you eat.
Don’t let gum disease progress to its advanced stages. During the early stage there are a lot of treatment options including periodontal treatment and LANAP; the health of your mouth can still be fully restored. If you’re looking for gum disease treatment in Fishers or LANAP in Indianapolis, contact us today. Our team at Implant Dentistry and Periodontics is specially trained at diagnosing and treating gum disease, no matter how far the disease has progressed.