The 4 Stages of Gum Disease
The 4 Stages of Gum Disease: 2021
According to the CDC, half of Americans aged 30 or older have periodontitis. This equals approximately 64.7 million Americans. 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. Dr. Kacos emphasizes that untreated, periodontal disease can cause you to lose your teeth or develop systematic problems in the rest of your body. Below, Shreveport’s dentist Dr. Kacos explores the four stages of gum disease.
The First Stage: Gingivitis
During this first stage, oral bacteria find their 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 Stage: 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. Hoang, a dentist in Bethlehem, GA, about the second stage of gum disease. Dr. Hoang highly recommends patients sticking to a precise oral health routine. He says that this stage determines if your gum disease will get dramatically better or dramatically worse.
The Third Stage: Moderate Gum Disease
In this stage, the gum disease has worsened. Now, the bacteria is 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. However, there is serious damage 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. Additionally, you will be advised to step up your oral hygiene. This is to ensure you won’t get infected again.
The Fourth Stage: Advanced Periodontal/Gum Disease
The infection goes deeper during this level of periodontal disease. Thus, 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. Contact our dental office in Shreveport, LA, for any and all dental issues.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.