Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. If your gums are bleeding it’s time to get help. The sooner we can diagnose and begin treating gum disease the better chance you have of a full recovery with no permanent damage to your teeth, gums and jaw bone.
Gum disease occurs in three stages. The first is gingivitis, followed by periodontitis. The final, most dangerous stage is advanced periodontitis. So what do theses stages look like, and how do you know when something is wrong?
Gum disease can spread inflammation to many systems in the body and is linked to diabetes, heart disease and strokes.
Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease, and if diagnosed and treated at this stage, the damage is reversible and not permanent. This is one of the many reasons we encourage biannual dental visits so we can clean teeth and examine them for any signs of gum disease and treat it as soon as possible.
In this first stage of gum disease, gums may appear slightly red and inflamed. When you floss or brush your teeth, you may see some bleeding occur as well. These are definite signs you need to make an appointment as soon as possible to stop this aggressive disease in its tracks before damage becomes permanent.
The second stage of gum disease is mild periodontitis. In this stage, some damage may be permanent. Luckily it can be managed to ensure no further damage occurs. Signs that your gums may have reached this stage of gum disease include red and inflamed gums, bleeding gums and pockets of space near the gum line where the gums have begun to pull away from the teeth. This allows bacteria to build up in these pockets and damage the teeth before eventually moving to the jaw bone.
The third and final stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis, and it can be very dangerous. At this stage, the symptoms of the previous two stages are still present and now the teeth may begin to feel loose. Your teeth may become extra sensitive to temperature extremes, you may experience bad breath, and chewing may even become painful.