Gum or periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that hold teeth in place. Periodontal disease is usually caused by plaque buildup due to poor oral hygiene. This disease is manageable and treatable, especially when it is caught early. Early treatment can help people avoid the negative consequences of periodontal disease.Flossing regularly and brushing…
Early Signs and Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease is one of the most common reasons people head to the dentist. It is an infection of gum tissues that is more likely to affect people over 30. It is caused by the bacteria in plaque and tartar getting into gum pockets and teeth roots, prompting a response by the immune system. The battle between your immune system and the bacteria infecting your gum tissues is what leads to the chronic inflammation known as gum disease.
The signs and symptoms of the different stages of gum disease
Gum disease occurs in two main phases. The first stage is called gingivitis, while the more advanced stage is called periodontitis. Let us take a closer look at both stages and the symptoms associated with them.
This is the first stage of gum disease, and it primarily only affects soft gum tissues. Tooth loss is unlikely at this stage. The patient’s condition can be improved by educating them and getting them to commit to good oral hygiene.
Teeth cleanings performed by a dentist can also help to fight off gingivitis. If the dentist is worried about the patient’s condition progressing into periodontitis, deep cleanings might also be recommended. Early diagnosis is crucial when it comes to treating gingivitis since the more advanced stage of gum disease cannot be reversed. Biannual checkups with a dentist go a long way for the early detection of gingivitis.
Some of the signs and symptoms associated with gingivitis include:
- Receding gums
- Gums that bleed easily when stimulated
- A metallic taste in the mouth
- Bad breath
- Spaces developing between teeth
- Purplish gums
This is the advanced stage of gum disease and reversing the patient’s condition is no longer an option. However, periodontic treatments can slow down the disease’s progression and manage damage to gum and bone structures in the mouth.
The infection affects the patient’s gum tissues and the bone structures that keep their teeth in place. Periodontitis occurs in three stages. Each has its distinct symptoms.
- Early periodontitis: The patient’s gums become more inflamed, leading to their gums tissues receding further. Bone structures around a tooth start getting damaged by the toxins created as the immune system fights off the infection
- Moderate periodontitis: The inflammation becomes more severe at this point, and the patient might start to feel pain and discomfort due to the infection. The patient’s gums recede further, and teeth might become loose as the structure around them deteriorate
- Advanced periodontitis: This is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. It often leads to abscesses developing due to the infection spreading. Treatments like bone and gum grafts are typically recommended at this point to help rebuild damaged structures in the mouth
Early detection goes a long way
Gum disease is reversible when diagnosed early on. Biannual dental checkups virtually guarantee a dentist notices it before it progresses into its advanced stages. Give us a call or visit our Chester clinic to set up an appointment with our dentist.
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