Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease doesn’t happen overnight, which means there are things you can do to prevent it. There are three main stages of gum disease, and if you feel you are in any of them, you should contact your dentist immediately.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. This happens when a buildup of plaque causes the gums to become inflamed. The inflammation produces toxins that can irritate your gums, and create a red or swollen appearance. If your gums are consistently bleeding when you brush and or floss your teeth, you might be suffering from gingivitis. Frequently seeing your dentist for dental cleanings is an excellent way to treat gingivitis.
The second stage of gum disease is periodontitis. Periodontitis is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in position. So now, not only are your gums compromised, but the tissues that support your teeth could be as well. Your dentist will use a tiny probe to check for and measure any pockets around the teeth. This test is usually painless, and a healthy pocket is between one and three millimeters. If space is any greater, periodontal disease is possible. Your dentist will treat this stage by trying to control the infection. The specific treatment used is decided based on the severity of each case.
Advanced periodontal disease is the third stage of gum disease. At this point, your gums, tissues, and now bones are now affected. As a result, your teeth can begin to shift, loosen, or fall out. Treatment options will again depend on the severity of your case. Some of the most common treatment options for gum disease include:
- root planning
- flap surgery
- soft tissue grafts
- bone grafting
- guided tissue regeneration
- tissue stimulation proteins
As stated before, if you are suffering from any stage of gum disease you need to consult with your dentist. At Wytheville Dental Group, we offer a variety of services including gum disease prevention and treatment options. To learn more about how we treat all three stages of gum disease, visit us online today!