Understanding the Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease, when left untreated, can progress to the point of severe bone destruction and tooth loss. Beginning as gingivitis, gum disease is categorized into three stages, two of which involve irreversible damage to periodontal tissues.
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of the condition and is characterized by swollen, inflamed gum tissues that bleed when brushing, flossing or even spontaneously. Caused by bacteria residing within oral plaque, gingivitis affects gum tissue only and therefore does not cause any irreversible bone damage. This stage of gum disease is completely reversible when treated properly.
When gingivitis remains untreated, it often progresses to the stage of periodontitis. This is where critical, irreversible changes in oral tissues begin to take place. Bacteria living beneath the gum line emit toxins, signaling the body to begin destroying bone tissue supporting the teeth. Signs and symptoms of periodontitis include bleeding and inflamed gums, halitosis (bad breath), and early gum recession. Treatment is necessary to prevent further loss of gum and bone damage.
Advanced periodontitis occurs when bacteria continue to destroy gum and bone tissue, resulting in significant loss of irreversible support for the teeth. Advanced bone loss incurs tooth mobility and ultimately tooth loss, if treatment is not received. Signs and symptoms of advanced periodontitis are bleeding and inflammation of the gum tissues, loose teeth, gum recession and halitosis.
Dr. Amarik Singh specializes in treating the stages of gum disease and improving the health of periodontal tissues. To schedule your gum disease consultation and learn about treatment options, contact our Oak Brook, IL office today.