The Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease has several different stages. Each stage affects your oral and overall health differently.
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and is very treatable. During the first stage of gum disease, the bacteria only affects your gum’s soft tissue. It may not cause any discomfort and usually only mild symptoms such as swollen or bleeding gums, receding gums, bad breath, and spaces between the teeth. Usually, gingivitis can go away with a deep cleaning (root planing and scaling) and more effective oral hygiene habits at home. We may also recommend more frequent dental cleanings.
Without treatment of gingivitis, gum disease will progress to early periodontitis. During this stage, the disease will progress past affecting the gums and also affect the bone structure of teeth. The spaces between teeth will grow larger and form pockets where bacteria, plaque, and food will begin to collect. These pockets will also lead to infection which can damage the surrounding bone.
Without treatment, early periodontitis will advance to moderate periodontitis where severe inflammation begins to spread. Patients can expect to experience more discomfort as they lose more bone, receding gums, and loose teeth.
The last stage of periodontal disease is advanced periodontitis. At this stage, painful abscesses will form. Teeth will become even looser and potentially even fall out and your gums will look very shrunken. Without treatment, tooth loss is inevitable.