Understanding the Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease is one of the most serious threats to your oral health. It can cause pain and bleeding, and when left untreated, can lead to tooth loss and the need for dental implants or dentures. The good news about gum disease is that it can be treated, especially in its earliest stages. If you experience the symptoms listed in these descriptions of the stages of gum disease, schedule an appointment at your dentist office serving San Jose so you can get the important care you need.
Stage One: Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. It is caused by plaque that builds up along the gum line, triggering inflammation. If you have gingivitis, your gums may bleed when you brush and floss. Report these symptoms to your dentist right away. At this stage, the bone and connective tissue around your teeth haven’t been affected, so treatment is relatively simple. Home remedies, like improving your oral hygiene routine and adding a tartar control rinse, is usually all that is needed.
Stage Two: Periodontitis
During the second stage of gum disease, periodontitis, the bones that support your teeth and the fibers that keep your teeth in position become damaged. This damage, which is irreversible, can lead to the formation of pockets below the gum line that then gather plaque and bacteria, which in turn exacerbates the infection. When caught early, periodontitis can be treated with a thorough dental cleaning and improved home care for your teeth. Although the existing damaging can’t be reversed, treatment will prevent further damage.
Stage Three: Advanced Periodontitis
This stage of gum disease is the most serious. The destruction of bone and connective tissue around your teeth can cause your teeth to become loose, impacting your bite. Aggressive periodontal treatment, such as root planing, is required to slow the infection. With advanced periodontitis, it may be necessary to remove teeth that no longer have the proper support.