The Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease, also called periodontitis, is an infection of the gums that leads to damage to the tissue that surrounds the teeth. If left untreated, gum disease worsens over time and can even result in tooth loss and require extensive dental restoration efforts. The experts at McDonald Family Dentistry want you to be aware of the signs of gum disease so that the health of your smile can be maintained. This condition exhibits a variety of symptoms, and you should seek treatment right away if you suspect gum disease.
Stage 1: Gingivitis
Gingivitis is considered an early-stage form of gum disease. During this stage, you may notice that your gums are redder than normal; you may even observe swelling. The good news about gingivitis is that it is reversible. Establishing a solid dental health routine and attending regular dental exams are key to eliminating the effects of gingivitis.
Stage 2: Mild Periodontitis
If gingivitis is allowed to remain untreated, it develops into what is called mild periodontitis. At this stage of gum disease, your gums start to pull away from your teeth. This is where bone loss begins to occur. Periodontal pockets containing harmful bacteria and plaque develop as a result. Toothbrushes cannot reach inside these pockets, leaving harmful substances trapped.
Stage 3: Moderate Periodontitis
As gum disease progresses, you will experience increased bone loss around the teeth. Bacteria and plaque continue to eat away at the vulnerable tissue that supports teeth. Gums at this stage are very sore and tender to the touch.
Stage 4: Severe Periodontitis
When gum disease progresses past the first three stages, it becomes a severe dental issue. Bone loss will continue, and you may even notice that your teeth feel loose. This is because severe periodontitis leads to tooth loss, in addition to gum bleeding and infection at the gum line.
Gum Disease Symptoms to Look Out For
Periodontitis is diagnosed by a dentist during an examination, but you may observe the following symptoms as the disease develops:
- Gums that appear red or purple
- Gums that are swollen
- Bleeding from the gums, which occurs often and without much provocation
- Tender, painful gums
- Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
- Teeth that feel loose; tooth loss
- Receding gums
- Decreased oral function, including chewing
- Gaps between the teeth that you hadn’t noticed previously
- Teeth misalignment
Prevent Gum Disease in Urbandale
Gum disease is a condition that worsens over time. It should be treated right away to prevent tooth loss and compromised oral health. The team at McDonald Family Dentistry is ready to help you achieve optimal dental health. If you suspect you have developed gum disease, schedule an appointment online or call our office today.