Biological dentist in the Petaluma area explains the stages of gum disease
So, what is gum disease?
Gum disease can be broken down into three categories: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
Stage One: Gingivitis
This is the first and earliest stage of gum disease. Inflammation around the gum line occurs when there is plaque buildup. It is generally caused by a lack of brushing and flossing daily. The plaque buildup traps bacteria and causes the gums to become inflamed. Symptoms of gingivitis are typically red and swollen gums, bad breath, or gums bleeding when brushing the teeth.
Stage Two: Periodontitis
When gingivitis goes untreated, the disease will advance into periodontitis. During this stage, there is now irreversible damage to the bones and tissue supporting your teeth. Deep hollow pockets begin to form in the gums, leaving room for food, plaque, and bacteria to become trapped. The gums start to recede and gaps develop between the gum line and teeth. Without treatment, you become at risk for the damage to worsen and tooth loss.
Stage Three: Advanced Periodontitis
This stage occurs when periodontitis is left untreated. At this point, the bacteria that have collected in the pockets of the gum begin to destroy the bone structure and make the pockets deeper. Teeth begin to move and fall out. Aggressive treatment is required to save the teeth.