The Different Stages of Gum Disease

The key culprit behind gum diseases, as we all know, is bacteria-laden plaque. Gum diseases do not turn to their severe form in a day, and generally, there is a gradual progression. In this blog, we will talk about the different stages of gum diseases and their progression.  


Gingivitis literally means inflammation of the gums, and it is the only form of gum disease which is reversible. The bacteria responsible for gingivitis reside in the plaque. Plaque adheres to the teeth surface and gum margins and, in due course, hardens to form calculus. These bacteria release toxic byproducts, which lead to gum inflammation and eventually cause gingivitis. Gingivitis is often a painless condition and is silent; therefore is easy to ignore. Some symptoms could give you an idea that you may be suffering from gingivitis, and it’s time to visit a periodontist near you. Swollen and bleeding gums often tend to be the most definitive symptoms of gingivitis. Apart from this, bad breath is also a known symptom of gum disease. 


Gingivitis is left untreated progress, and now the infection will attack the jawbone. The swelling of the gums may worsen; gums appear fiery red and may bleed upon regular oral hygiene. There may be the presence of persistent foul taste and bad breath. Once a patient advances from gingivitis to periodontal diseases, the infection spreads to the bone, and the process of bone destruction begins. From this stage onwards, the damage caused by the disease becomes irreversible. 


As mentioned, once periodontitis sets in, it cannot be reversed. The symptoms are similar to the second stage but increase in severity. The gum pockets will keep getting deeper. The loss of gum tissues and bone will lead to greater tooth mobility. The teeth begin to shift, and gums bleed more easily. 


This is the final stage of periodontal disease, infection spreads further, and the bacteria start destroying the bone rapidly. There is bone loss; the gums are exceptionally tender, red, bleed easily, and sometimes, you may see pus discharge. You may experience increased teeth sensitivity as the roots of the teeth are exposed, and the problem with bad breath also increases. The chance of experience tooth loss is almost apparent. The patient will need to undergo extensive periodontal therapies, extract loose teeth, and replace missing teeth. 

Untreated gum diseases tend to progress to their severe forms and can also lead to systemic complications. If you are experiencing any symptoms of gum diseases, please schedule an appointment with us at Wilmington Periodontics and consult our board-certified periodontist today. If you have any more questions, please reach out to us, and our team of excellent dental professionals will be there to assist you. 

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