What Are the Different Stages of Gum Disease?

what are the stages of gum disease

What Are the Different Stages of Gum Disease?

You may already be familiar with the dangers of gum disease, but do you know what the different stages are? Understanding the different stages of periodontal disease is important so you can recognize when your mouth is most vulnerable and in need of immediate treatment. At Hicks Dental Group, we can prevent and treat gum disease with non-surgical services. Continue reading to learn more about the different stages of gum disease and how to spot the signs. 

What Are the Stages of Gum Disease?

1. Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the reversible and mild first stage of gum disease caused by the buildup of bacteria on your teeth and along your gums. The first signs of gingivitis include red, swollen gums and gums that bleed during brushing or flossing. 

You can prevent—and even reverse—the effects of gingivitis by eliminating bacteria buildup through good oral hygiene and regular dental appointments. When plaque sits on your teeth, it hardens into tartar and becomes more difficult to remove. Tartar is dangerous because it allows gum disease to progress quickly to periodontitis, which is irreversible.

2. Early Periodontal Disease

Early periodontitis causes your gums to begin pulling away from your teeth and might also make your gums look pale. Small pockets begin to form between your gums and teeth, which can collect bacteria and cause even more damage to your mouth. The bone supporting your teeth will also begin to weaken at this stage. Just like gingivitis, early periodontal disease can cause your gums to bleed when brushing or flossing. 

3. Moderate Periodontal Disease

As periodontal disease progresses, it becomes much more painful. Bleeding gums, gum recession, and pain around your teeth are all signs of moderate periodontal disease. You could experience significant bone loss in your jaw, and the pockets between your teeth and gums may increase in size. At this stage, the infection can also reach your bloodstream and affect other areas of your body. 

4. Advanced Periodontal Disease

Letting gum disease develop into advanced periodontitis is not only painful but also puts you at greater risk of bone loss and tooth loss. Extremely bad breath, pus discharge along the gums, and pain while chewing are all notable signs of the final stage of gum disease. Because of its severity, treating advanced periodontitis often requires surgery. 

What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?

Although the symptoms vary depending on the stage of gum disease, the signs you should watch for include:

  • Gums that bleed easily when brushing teeth or flossing
  • A buildup of plaque or tartar along your gums
  • Pain while chewing or biting
  • Red, swollen, or sore gums
  • A bad taste in your mouth
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Receding gums
  • Tooth loss

Gum Disease Treatment in Prescott, AZ

The stages of gum disease progress quickly—it’s best to notice the signs early so you can act quickly before the condition becomes irreversible. If you are experiencing any periodontal disease symptoms, contact Hicks Dental Group as soon as possible. Our non-surgical periodontal scaling and root planing services can help treat gum disease. Call 928-445-6030 today to schedule an appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/21/2022). Photo by Fakhri Labib on Unsplash