Learn about the Stages of Gum Disease for Proper Treatment

Periodontal (gum) disease is a serious condition that affects more than just the soft tissues in a patient’s mouth. Left untreated, it can hurt the real smile and cause extensive damage to a person’s oral health. Dentists can treat the condition’s early stages, but once it progresses to a more advanced stage, called periodontitis, they can no longer reverse it. 

It is important to inform your dentist if you notice anything different in your oral health so they can take the necessary steps for gum disease treatment. Watch out for these stages to determine the right course of action:

Stage 1: Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a mild gum disease form characterized by inflammation and irritation of the gums. Symptoms may include swelling, redness, and gums bleeding when brushing or flossing. 

It is important to detect gingivitis early to reverse the effects of the disease, as the symptoms are often mild and go unnoticed. Regular preventive dental checkups are essential to diagnose and treat gingivitis before it progresses to a more severe form of gum disease.

Stage 2: Early Periodontitis

Periodontitis is the inflammation of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It starts by damaging the soft tissue and weakening the bones supporting the teeth. Stage two periodontitis can be managed at this point, even though it is not completely reversible. 

Nonetheless, the effect on a person’s oral health is still relatively minor. Treatments are used at the dentist’s office and at home to prevent it from worsening and maintain good oral health.

Stage 3: Moderate Periodontitis

In the third stage of periodontitis, the damage to the gums, bones, and teeth become more pronounced. Bacteria and plaque buildup have deepened the pockets around the teeth, and the risk of other issues like tooth decay and dental abscesses has risen. 

Additionally, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and impact overall health. Treatment at this stage aims to reverse any damage that has been done and prevent further progression. Patients can do this through professional periodontal therapy and an individualized at-home oral hygiene plan.

Stage 4: Advanced Periodontitis

During the most progressed stage of periodontitis, individuals may suffer from severe outcomes. The deterioration of the gum tissue connecting the teeth will lead to receding gums. As the supportive bone structure continues to weaken and deteriorate, the teeth may become loose and possibly be lost. Oral health issues such as swelling, bleeding, and sores can be present and, even worse, could affect the person’s overall health.

At this point, it is critical to take action to avoid complications. Generally, people must attend numerous appointments with a dental professional and then apply an enhanced oral hygiene practice at home to protect their teeth. Moreover, restorative and cosmetic dentistry may be necessary to undo the more serious consequences of periodontal disease.

In Conclusion

Your dentist’s gum disease treatment will depend on what stage you’re already in. If stage one or two, take heart; it’s still reversible. Go to your dentist immediately before it worsens to stage three or four.

Treat Gum Disease at Family Dental of Westborough Today

We provide patients with regular cleanings, exams, and gum disease treatments per Massachusetts Phase 2 guidelines. Book your appointment at (508) 366-7450 or on our website!

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