Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common dental condition that affects the gums and can lead to serious oral health problems if left untreated. We will discuss the progression of gum disease, causes, symptoms to look out for and the potential consequences if it is not treated.
Stage 1: Gingivitis (Earliest Stage)
It is caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums. Plaques can cause inflammation and irritation of the gums. The symptoms include:
Red, swollen, or tender gums
Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
Gingivitis can be reversed with good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are also important to remove plaque and tartar buildup and catch any potential problems early on.
Stage 2: Periodontitis:
If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontitis. Periodontitis occurs when bacteria in plaque infect and inflame the gums and other structures that support the teeth, such as the bone and ligaments. The symptoms include all the symptoms of Gingivitis as well as:
Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
Loose teeth or changes in bite
Periodontitis can be treated with good oral hygiene habits and professional dental treatment, such as scaling and root planing, antibiotics, and surgery if necessary. However, if left untreated, periodontitis can lead to serious oral health problems.
Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis (Most Severe Stage)
In this stage, the infection and inflammation have spread to the supporting structures of the teeth, including the bone and ligaments. This can lead to tooth loss and other serious oral health problems: The symptoms include:
Severe gum recession and bone loss
Loose or shifting teeth
Pain or discomfort when biting or chewing
Pus between the teeth and gums
Treatment for advanced periodontitis may involve more invasive procedures, such as bone grafting, guided tissue regeneration, or periodontal surgery. However, in some cases, tooth loss may be unavoidable.
Remember to practice good oral hygiene habits and seek professional dental treatment when necessary. If you experience any symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding gums or persistent bad breath, see the doctor as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment. This way you can prevent and treat gum disease at any stage.