The Stages of Gum Disease: Your Periodontal Health

Stages of Gum Disease - Charleston, SC

Nov 12, 2017 — by John Rink DDS
Tags: Gum Disease Restorative Dentistry General Dentistry

The stages of periodontal diseaseGum disease is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. It's caused by the same naturally occurring oral bacteria that causes bad breath and tooth decay. Bad oral hygiene, smoking, dry mouth, and a host of other conditions can increase your likelihood of developing gum disease. At the Charleston Center for Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry, we offer many advanced options for periodontal care and improving gum health.

There are three stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

Below we'll go into each stage of gum disease and what signs and symptoms are associated with them.

Gingivitis

The most common signs and symptoms of gingivitis set the basics for worsening gum disease. They include:

  • Chronic bad bad
  • A strange taste in the mouth
  • Irritated gums
  • Gum discoloration
  • Bleeding gums

This early stage of gum disease is the easiest to treat and, relatively speaking, does the least damage to the gumline and other structures of the mouth. Regular dental visits can help catch these symptoms, allowing dentists to implement treatment sooner rather than later.

Periodontitis

The next stage of gum disease leads to more serious health issues affecting a patients gums and teeth. The symptoms include:

  • Worsening of gingivitis symptoms
  • Swelling of the gums
  • Sore or painful gums
  • Gum recession
  • Exposure of the tooth roots
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Tooth decay at the root
  • Loose teeth

Given the nature of these symptoms listed, more advanced restorative procedures will be necessary to treat cases of periodontitis as they arise.

Advanced Periodontitis

Advanced periodontitis is the most serious form of gum disease. The entire mouth can be impacted given the spread and severity of infection. Symptoms include:

  • Worsening of periodontitis symptoms
  • Shifting of tooth position
  • Tooth loss
  • Root canal infections
  • Formation of oral abscesses

Depending on the extent of the damage, a full mouth reconstruction may be necessary to address the damage caused by this severe stage of gum disease.

Treatments for Gum Disease

When treating gum disease, it's important that the infection be brought under control first and foremost. This means that the initial treatments may involve the use of antiseptic rinses and medications to help kill the harmful bacteria. Antibiotics may be prescribed for much more serious infections.

The next step of treating gum disease involves restorative care. This means grafting procedures to rebuild the gumline if a patient suffered from gum recession, and the use of restorations to treat damaged or missing teeth.

Since treatments can vary depending on the nature of the problem, it's best that we discuss these issues during a consultation at our practice. Together we can develop a treatment plan that's well-suited to your needs.

Tips for Preventing Gum Disease

Here are some simple tips to help you prevent gum disease:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day (ideally after every meal)
  • Floss your teeth at least once a night (ideally after every meal)
  • Avoid smoking and the use of tobacco products
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups

Learn More About Treating Periodontal Disease

For more information about gum disease and how it can be effectively treated and prevented, be sure to contact the Charleston Center for Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry. We will help you have a healthy smile that looks great, and give you the information you need to practice good oral hygiene.

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