According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 46 percent of all adults in the United States who are 30 years and above display signs of gum disease. It’s one of the most common causes of tooth loss among adults. Are you wondering how this dental problem progresses? Read on to learn more about the different stages of gum disease:
There are four gum disease stages. The earliest is gingivitis, which is the easiest to treat. It’s an inflammation of the gums resulting from plaque buildup around the teeth. Gingivitis is indicated by redness, soreness, and swelling of the gums. Your gums also become prone to bleeding, especially during brushing or probing. At this stage, the infection is in its mildest form. Since it still hasn’t attacked the tooth root or bones, the damage is reversible with proper dental hygiene. But gingivitis can persist for years before the inflammation becomes destructive. Besides improving your oral health care habits, you can treat this dental problem with tooth scaling and root planing.
Periodontitis is the more severe type of gum disease. At this point, the infection has spread to the bone that supports your teeth. Experts define the stages of periodontitis as early, moderate, and advanced. They vary mainly by the degree of damage the infection has caused your supporting bone. In the initial stage of periodontitis, plaque continues to spread and penetrates deeper between your teeth and gums. This leads to gum recession and the formation of gingival pockets below the gumline. More bacteria invade these spaces, causing more significant swelling and bleeding.
During this stage, the gums and supporting bone suffer from severe infection. As your body’s enzymes fight the bacterial toxins, the connective tissues and bone that holds your tooth in place become seriously infected. This causes them to break down. At this point, your teeth can start to loosen, drift, and even seem to separate. Moderate periodontitis is a critical stage. Damage control can help, but there may be a point where the condition already makes it nearly impossible to save your tooth. Surgical treatment can potentially prevent the progression of gum disease. But the damage will no longer be reversible.
This is the worst stage of gum disease as it causes the most destruction to your gums and supporting bones. This final stage is characterized by extreme pain, constant bad breath, and spontaneous gum bleeding. It’s also common to experience teeth sensitivity, pus drainage in the mouth caused by abscesses, and severe bone loss. The damage is so intense that your teeth will loosen, drift out of place, or fall out. In many cases, your dentist can no longer save your teeth and will have to extract them. You can have advanced periodontitis even without the intense alarming signs of severe underlying bone deterioration.
Do you suspect that you may already have signs of gum disease? Don’t wait for the damage to become irreversible. Schedule your dental examination today with our team of experts at Picasso Smiles Dental. Call any of our Eastside (915) 800-7393 or Westside Offices (915) 800-7704 in El Paso, Texas, to make an appointment.