Stages of periodontal disease

What are the stages of periodontal disease and when should oral problems worry you?

If you have any gum or dental problem, even though you brush and floss your teeth regularly, you need to take care of it immediately.

Periodontal disease or periodontitis may start with gingivitis in the initial stages.

Periodontal disease can spread quickly and result in tooth loss if not attended to by a professional dentist who specializes in periodontal disease.

Four stages of periodontal disease

You should know about the four stages of periodontal disease so that you can get it treated before it worsens and you suffer from tooth loss.

Stage 1 – Gingivitis

periodontal disease stage 1 - gingivitis

This stage is a mild form of periodontal disease called gingivitis. If your gums are swollen and bleeding, you are in the initial stage of periodontitis. At this point, it can be treated and reversed. Look for visible signs of discoloration or plaque formation around the bottom of the teeth, where they meet the gums. Professional dental cleaning should help you out here.

Stage 2 – Early Periodontitis

periodontal disease stage 2 - early periodontitis

If ignored, periodontal disease spreads deeper and results in more severe inflammation. Your gums might be painful and visibly red and swollen. You will likely have more bleeding when brushing and flossing and may even suffer from bad breath.

The infection has most likely spread to the bone surrounding the tooth, resulting in bone loss. Sometimes deep cleaning and a course of antibiotics may help.

Stage 3 – Moderate Periodontitis

periodontal disease stage 3 - moderate periodontitis

At this stage, your gums have probably receded further and your teeth look longer. Bone loss advances – your teeth may be loose. Your bite may have changed, noticeable when eating.

If you have reached this stage, you may require tooth extraction. And the tooth or teeth must be replaced by dentures or dental implants. Your periodontist will be able to suggest appropriate treatment depending on how many teeth are affected and how deep the infection is.

Stage 4 – Advanced Periodontitis

periodontal disease stage 3 - advanced periodontitis

You can only reach this stage if you have ignored all previous stages and not taken proper dental care. You probably have lost some teeth and have severe oral problems, including constant bad breath and a strange taste in the mouth.

At this stage, you will likely require periodontal surgery and need to replace all teeth using dentures or implants. You may even require full mouth reconstruction, depending on how much the jaw bone is affected. You may need treatments recommended by other dental specialists as well.

Why is dental health important?

According to CDC, at the age of 30 or above, 47.2% of adults suffer from some form of periodontal disease. The figure increases exponentially among the older population.

If periodontal disease is not treated promptly, it can rapidly progress and the infection can reach the bloodstream. You can then suffer from a range of medical issues.

Oral health has been potentially linked to various ailments according to a report published by the ADA (American Dental Association) including

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Respiratory problems
  • Diabetes
  • Complications during pregnancy

For all these reasons and more, contact Dentistry of Newburyport to schedule a dental check-up to prevent periodontal disease.

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