The levels of gum disease progression – Gingivitis to Periodontitis
Stages of Gum diseases
Did you notice slight blood in the sink when you brushed your teeth lately? That bleeding can be one of the first warning signs of gum disease. When the disease is mild, it is called gingivitis and only the gums are infected. If this is left untreated, the infection will travel below the gum line and into the bone, causing a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis.
Both these oral health issues – gingivitis and periodontitis – not only affect dental health but have also shown to carry other health risks – like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, pneumonia, and cancer. Early detection and prevention is your best solution.
Regular dental visits can wipe out the chances of developing periodontitis. The progression of gum disease isn’t an overnight process. It happens in 2 stages.
The progression of Gum Disease- How the Periodontal pocket is formed?
Dental plaque or mass bacteria grows and accumulates on the tooth and within the mouth. These bacteria use food particles and saliva to grow and multiply. The gums then start bleeding and swelling occurs which is known as gingivitis.
In order to get rid of the bacteria, the body produces chemicals to attack the bacteria which in turn harms or destroys the bone and ligaments holding the teeth in place. This causes loosening of the tooth and thereby forming a pocket. Over a period of time, these pockets get deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live. These deep pockets result in major bone and tissue loss, eventually leading to the extraction of the tooth.
A pocket depth varying from 1mm-3mm indicates gingivitis – an early stage of gum disease. Depth of 4mm-5mm indicates mild periodontitis infection, depth of 6mm-7mm indicates moderate periodontitis infection and 8mm and above indicate severe periodontitis infection causing a higher risk of permanent damage.
Stages of Gum Disease
1. Gingivitis (Gum level infection)
This is an early stage of gum disease that affects your oral health. It is the inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth. It is commonly caused due to plaque build-up or Tatar. At this level or stage, there is no permanent destruction of bone or ligaments around the tooth. These can be easily be reversed with daily brushing and flossing at home and also with professional dental treatment. Since gingivitis has no signs it is more important to get a dental examination to diagnose which level of gum disease one has so that they can receive the necessary treatment.
Tips for treating and preventing gingivitis:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled
- Use fluoride-containing toothpaste to keep the teeth strong and prevent the damage that bacteria can cause.
- Use antiseptic mouthwash while rinsing the mouth to help fight the plaque, bad breath etc.
- Floss at least once in a day to remove food particles stuck in between the teeth.
2. Periodontitis (Bone level infection)
Gingivitis, if not treated in time, can turn into periodontitis a severe level of gum disease. There are three levels of periodontitis – mild, moderate and severe.
- Mild periodontitis: At this level, the gum disease begins to destroy the bone and tissue which support the teeth. The bacteria evolves and is more aggressive, which causes additional bone loss.
- Moderate periodontitis: The process of destruction continues and the gums continue to fall away from the tooth thereby making a huge depth or pocket for the accumulation of bacteria to attack not only the bones but also the immune system.
- Severe periodontitis: This is the final stage where there is extensive bone loss and tissue damage. Also, there is pus formation at this level. Teeth are often extracted as it can cause severe damage.
Tips for prevention and treatment
- Scaling and root planning are forms of deep cleaning which are normally carried out for the first two levels of periodontitis that remove the bacteria deposits deeply rooted in gums.
- The treatment for the final stage requires laser therapy or periodontal surgery to clean the bacteria. To reshape healthy gum tissue around the teeth.
Treating gum level disease quickly is very important. Keeping up with regular dental check-ups and cleanings, and practising good daily oral hygiene habits helps one from the progression of gum disease.
Most of the people are unaware of gum disease symptoms and do not pay attention to oral care. It is very important to be sure of your dental health by visiting a good dental clinic near you. At our clinic, our team helps you with information on how to control gum disease and prevent future occurrence. If you suspect that you are suffering from any kind of gum disease, schedule your dental examination appointment today.
- Why metal fillings should be replaced with composite fillings - January 20, 2023
- Oral Psoriasis – What you should know - January 4, 2023
- Canker Sores What you should know - December 13, 2022