The 4 Stages of Gum Disease
The 4 Stages of Gum Disease
Periodontal or gum disease is an ongoing infection in the jawbone and gums surrounding one’s teeth. It is important for you to look out for warning signs so you can seek help before it’s too late. Untreated periodontal disease can cause you to lose your teeth or develop systematic problems in the rest of your body.
The First Level: Gingivitis
During this first stage, oral bacteria finds its way into the gaps between the teeth and the gums. The gums then develop an infection, and you can start noticing the signs of gingivitis. Dr. Kacos, Shreveport’s dentist, says people start developing bad breath, the gums become red and swollen, and there is some bleeding while brushing your teeth. At this point, rigorous dental hygiene (brushing and flossing as recommended by dentists) can reverse and cure this level of periodontal disease.
The Second Level: Slight Gum/Periodontal Disease
This second level of gum disease may not exhibit any symptoms or signs. Dr. Kacos calls this stage the “silent phase” of periodontal disease. Occasionally, patients with this level of gum disease may notice that their gums are redder and more swollen than they used to get during the first level of gum disease. You may also have a worsening case of bad breath in addition to bleeding as you floss or brush your teeth. We asked our friend, Dr. Farhat, a dentist in Sterling Heights, MI, about the second stage of gum disease. Dr. Farhat highly recommends for patients in the stage to buckle down on their oral hygiene. He says that this stage determines if your gum disease will get dramatically better or dramatically worse.
The Third Level: Moderate Gum Disease
In this stage, the gum disease has worsened to the extent that the bacteria is now destroying the support structures of your teeth. This is because the bacteria is now deep in the spaces around your teeth. Dentists in Shreveport, LA say that this phase of the disease cannot be cured simply by brushing and flossing. The worst thing about this stage of the disease is that you will hardly experience pain despite the serious damage that is being done to the jawbone and the connecting tissues in your mouth. Furthermore, bacteria will keep leaking into your bloodstream, and you may begin to develop systemic issues due to the challenges that your immune system is facing.
Dr. Kacos, Shreveport’s dentist, usually treats this level of gum disease through root planing and scaling. This treatment will get rid of the bacteria that is lodged deep within the tissues surrounding your teeth. Several cleanings will be necessary to clear the bacteria completely, and you will be advised to step up your oral hygiene in order to avoid getting infected again.
The Fourth Level: Advanced Periodontal/Gum Disease
The infection goes deeper during this level of periodontal disease, and the bacteria will be more likely to cause a variety of diseases in your body. For example, the bacteria can infect the lining of the arteries leading to your heart. The bone loss takes place at a higher rate, and your teeth will start loosening. You may also develop periodontal abscesses and pus will start leaking from your gums. Your gums can also bleed spontaneously. Many people also develop sensitivity to hot or cold things when they have advanced gum disease. Dentists in Shreveport also say that you may find it hard to chew due to the pain they feel as they eat. The worst form of bad breath is found amongst people with advanced periodontal disease.
The treatment options taken to combat this level of gum disease are similar to those used to deal with moderate periodontal disease. However, laser treatment can be used to kill the bacteria lodged deep in the tissues around your teeth.
As you can see, prompt action needs to be taken as soon as you suspect periodontal disease. Dr. Ben Kacos and his experienced team can monitor your dental health and offer immediate remedies for gum disease before it advances and causes more serious problems, including tooth loss. Get in touch today, and all your dental issues will be addressed.