Posted on 4/20/2016 by Implant & Periodontal Associates NW
You've probably heard about gum disease and know that it involves red and bleeding gums, but did you realize that there are actually several stages of gum disease?
While some people use gum or periodontal disease as a blanket term, it is important to know exactly what stage you are battling, as treatment options will differ depending on the variety you are dealing with.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and it develops when bacteria cause infection and inflammation after attacking the gum line. You will likely notice redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums, but if you catch the problem early enough, it is reversible. In addition to improving your oral health routine, a couple of deep cleaning sessions in your dental office should put you back on the right path.
If you don't treat your gingivitis, it can eventually worsen to develop periodontitis. Pockets will begin to form between the gums and teeth, creating an ideal location for bacteria to gather and reproduce. Your immune system will try and pick up the pace to fight off the bacteria, but the infection can cause the tissue and bone to break down. This stage of the disease isn't reversible, but your dentist can take measures to prevent it from worsening.
Advanced periodontitis is the most severe form of the disease, and the pockets will have become quite deep. Connective tissue and bone will be compromised and can no longer handle holding your teeth in place. You may notice your teeth shifting or even falling out in this stage of the disease.
If you notice changes with your gums - including bleeding, redness, swelling, or loose teeth - it is important to contact our office right away. The sooner that you take action, the better the final outcome will be, and you just may be able to save your teeth.
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