Associates of Dental Arts
Dr. Gregory Kivett

What are the stages of gum disease?

Even though brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day can feel like a monotonous task, it is absolutely necessary for preventing gum disease. Many adults with gum disease suffer from bad breath, bleeding gums, and a multitude of other symptoms because of poor oral hygiene. If the early stages of gum disease are left untreated, the gums can become severely infected and may cause tooth loss. An estimated 75 percent of Americans have some form of gum disease, a condition that can not only lead to loose teeth but is also linked to many serious health problems. Associates of Dental Arts can treat adults with gum disease using laser gum surgery in Joplin, MO. First, it may help to understand the three main stages of gum disease.

Stage 1: Gingivitis

This is the earliest stage of gum disease and occurs when plaque builds up around the gum line and causes gum inflammation. If you do not brush and floss your teeth every day, the plaque will build up quickly and trap bacteria around the gum line. The gums will become inflamed and appear very red or swollen. You might notice your gums bleed when you brush and floss your teeth. Fortunately, this stage of gum disease is fairly easy to treat and the effects of gingivitis can still be reversed.
 

Stage 2: Periodontitis

If the early stages of gum disease are left untreated, the condition can develop into periodontitis. The supporting bones and fibers holding your teeth in place have been irreversibly damaged at this stage and you will start to develop spaces or pockets around the teeth. These pockets will trap food, bacteria, and plaque. The gums can start to pull away from the teeth and may even begin to recede. Many people notice small gaps forming between their teeth with this condition. At this stage, adults with gum disease will need immediate treatment.
 

Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis

This is the final stage of periodontitis and occurs when the second stage has been left untreated. When bacteria is allowed to grow and spread, it can destroy the connective tissues and bones supporting the teeth. Any pockets formed in Stage 2 will become deeper and your teeth might start to shift or feel loose. When loose teeth are affecting your bite, you may experience the effects of misalignment and can lose your teeth. More aggressive gum disease treatment is needed at this stage to save the teeth and restore your oral health.
 

Learn more about laser gum surgery in Joplin, MO by setting up your consultation. Associates of Dental Arts use the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP®) to treat adults with gum disease and can create a customized treatment plan to help you achieve optimal oral health.