The 4 Stages of Periodontal Disease

As the years go by, our bodies begin to show signs of our age. We may start to notice more aches and pains in our muscles and joints. Other signs of age also appear in our mouths in the form of periodontal disease. If you’ve neglected your oral health care throughout the years, you are a prime candidate for this severe gum disease. When plaque and other bacteria from sugar and starches in our foods build up on our teeth, we start to notice the effects. The good news is periodontal disease is treatable. So, if you think you’re in any of these four stages of the disease, it’s time to call the team at Dobson Ranch Dental Care.

The 4 Stages of Periodontal Disease

1. Gingivitis

The very first stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. This is the only stage in which damage is reversible, making it all the more important to visit your dentist regularly. During this stage, bacteria hasn’t yet made its way into your jawbone, which means we can quickly and easily reverse the damage to your gum line. Bleeding while brushing and flossing is the most obvious sign of gingivitis, and the most effective at-home treatment is a proper oral hygiene routine. Additionally, regular dental cleanings and exams can help clean up your teeth and prevent gingivitis from getting any worse as you age.

 

2. Slight

The second stage of this disease is slight periodontal disease and is not reversible, but rather manageable. Once you’ve reached this stage, the infection has penetrated below the surface of your teeth and gums, and is now affecting your jawbone. This infection doesn’t stop and begins to eat away at the bone. Unfortunately, simple at-home care won’t cut it once you’ve entered this stage. You may start to notice increased swelling and redness in your gums, as well as more bleeding during brushing and flossing. Furthermore, some people experience probing depths of up to five millimeters.

 

3. Moderate

The third stage of periodontal disease is known as moderate periodontal disease. Like stage two, the moderate stage cannot be reversed, but is manageable with regular visits to your dentist. Probing depths in this stage can exceed seven millimeters, which allows for more bacteria to enter below the gum line and attack your jaw bone. Additionally, this bacteria now has direct access to your bloodstream and immune system, which can lead to other health concerns. The treatment for both stages two and three include scaling and root planing, or deep cleanings that allow your dentist to remove deep pockets of plaque and bacteria that are well below the gumline. If you reach this stage and leave it untreated, you risk losing teeth, a shifting bite, and severe gum sensitivity.

 

4. Advanced

The fourth and final stage is advanced periodontal disease. During this stage, the infection spreads further into your jaw bone and the rest of your body. At this stage, you’re now at a 50%-90% risk of bone loss. Additionally, you’re more likely to experience red, swollen gums that ooze puss, experience cold sensitivity, lose more teeth, and have difficulty speaking or chewing. To treat this stage of periodontal disease, surgery is required, as is periodontal laser therapy treatment. During these treatments, deep pockets of bacteria are cleaned and removed, the jaw bone is inspected regularly, and your teeth are monitored for further decay. Patients who reach this stage often lose their teeth and require dentures.

 

Don’t Wait to Treat Gum Disease

Gum disease affects nearly everyone, especially as we age. However, keeping up with dental cleaning and exams from Dobson Ranch Dental Care can prevent the infection from worsening. Not only can our team of dental experts spot the early signs of this disease, but we also offer restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and root canal therapy. If you live in Mesa, AZ,  or the surrounding areas, give us a call today at (480) 838-8558.