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How to Detect Early Gum Disease | Stages of Periodontitis

Posted in Clearview Dental News

Most people visit their dentists for cavity prevention. While preventing tooth decay is essential for good oral health, keeping your gums healthy is also important. Failure to do so can lead to a host of systematic health problems, including periodontitis (Gum Disease).

Early detection is key to preventing gum disease. Learn more about it in this expert dental guide from Clearview Dental Clinic in Milton Ontario.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Your gums play a crucial role in holding your teeth together. However, due to a lack of oral hygiene, almost half of the adult population (aged 30 and above) have signs of gum disease.

Periodontitis is a bacterial infection of the gums, a serious disease that can damage the soft tissues around the teeth. Without the proper periodontal prevention treatment, it can lead to bone loss, causing teeth to get loose or fall out completely.

Periodontal disease: typically occurs when tartar or calculus accumulates on the surface of the teeth. The buildup of plaque releases toxins that push the gums downwards. This creates a gap that becomes a breeding ground for harmful bacteria to thrive.

When the plaque starts to eat the enamel (the teeth’s outer shell), it leads to decay. It can also accumulate, making it difficult to clean. This may cause irritation and inflammation in the gums, resulting in tooth loss and potential complications if left untreated.

What Are the Stages of Gum Disease?

Stages of Gum Disease
Women checking her teeth and gum line for early stages of gum disease.

There are four main stages of periodontal disease, and these include the following:

Gingivitis:

Also referred to as the first stage of periodontitis, gingivitis happens when plaque and bacteria start to accumulate on your teeth, resulting in an acute infection. It could lead to red or swollen gums that might bleed during brushing.

Since gingivitis is an early form of gum disease, your bones are still intact. You can take the necessary steps, such as regular dental cleanings and improved oral hygiene at home, to reverse this stage of periodontitis.

Mild Periodontitis:

When a gum disease travels deep into the tissues and reaches the bones, it is commonly referred to as mild periodontitis. This can cause the gums to pull away, creating pockets waiting to be filled with plaque, further damaging your teeth.

Moderate Periodontitis:

As the bacteria starts to eat away the gums and bones that hold the teeth, it can lead to moderate periodontitis. The inflammation can cause serious damage to the entire structure, resulting in an infection.

Common signs of moderate periodontitis include swollen, bleeding, or receding gums, bad breath, sensitivity, and tooth loss.

Advanced Periodontitis:

If left untreated, gum disease can progress into advanced periodontitis, a severe infection that damages the tissues and bone, causing your teeth to fall out.

Common Causes of Periodontitis Disease

While the leading cause of periodontitis is the buildup of plaque, there are several factors that can increase the risk of gum disease. These include the following:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco products
  • Health conditions like cancer, HIV, and diabetes
  • Poor oral hygiene habits
  • Genetics
  • Certain medicines

Common Symptoms of Periodontitis Disease

Depending on the stage of gum disease, some of the most common symptoms include the following:

  • Swollen or inflamed gums
  • Bright red or dark-colored gums
  • Bleeding gums during brushing
  • Spitting out blood when flossing
  • Loose teeth or tooth loss
  • Painful chewing
  • Bad breath

It’s important to conduct regular visits to your dentist to ensure oral health. Routine checkups can also help identify signs of periodontitis disease.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms, make sure to seek immediate medical help. You might get referred to a periodontist for further tests and treatments.

Can Gum Disease Lead to Other Health Problems?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there may be a strong relationship between periodontitis disease and other medical problems. Healthy people can fight off bacteria, but others with immune disorders may develop other health issues, including stroke and heart disease.

While tooth loss can be a major concern, if the bacteria enters the bloodstream, it could potentially affect other parts of the body in some patients. There have been medical cases involving respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease, and other health conditions associated with periodontitis.

If you’re suffering from diabetes, it’s essential to ensure oral hygiene, as aggravating gum disease can make your existing medical problems worse.

How to Detect the Early Signs of Gum Disease

Since periodontitis starts with gingivitis, it’s important to detect this disease at the earliest stages to help you take the necessary steps to reverse it.

When brushing or flossing your teeth, keep an eye out for anomalies, such as sensitivity and swollen or dark gums. If you detect any symptoms of gum disease, you should schedule a dental appointment for a quick checkup.

A professional examination is the quickest way of detecting gum disease. Undergoing a routine checkup by a qualified dentist can help identify any plaque buildup and evaluate the health of your gums.

Dental professionals use special equipment to identify periodontitis. It allows them to determine the gap between the gums and teeth. While unusually deep pockets can be a warning sign, a dentist may also look for symptoms of inflammation or irritation.

In some cases, the dental professional may require the patient to undergo an X-ray examination. It can show signs of bone damage, which is a common symptom of advanced gum disease.

Periodontitis Management and Treatment of Gum Disease

Whether it is gum tissue problems or bone loss, treatment depends on many different factors, including the patient’s health and the severity of the periodontitis disease.

Non-surgical remedies include scaling (deep cleaning), root planning, and antibiotics (mouthwash, pills, or gum gels). However, advanced periodontitis requires one of the following surgical procedures:

  • Soft tissue graft
  • Flap surgery
  • Bone grafting
  • Guided tissue regeneration
  • Tissue-stimulating proteins
  • Platelet-rich plasma therapy

Treat Your Gum Disease at Clearview Dental in Milton, Ontario, Canada

If you’re seeing signs of gum disease or facing any oral health issues, the team at Clearview Dental in Milton, Ontario, Canada, is here to provide comprehensive care. We offer a wide range of periodontal treatment services, including the following:

  • Initial consultation and diagnosis for identifying signs of gum disease
  • Scaling and root planning for reducing the spread of periodontal disease
  • Antibiotic prescriptions for fighting bacterial infections
  • Surgical procedures, such as pocket reduction surgery, bone grafting, guided tissue regeneration, and more, for alleviating the symptoms of periodontitis

Dentists in Milton CTA

Call us at 905-876-5070 to book an appointment with our qualified periodontist to ensure that your oral health is in the best possible hands!