Different Types of Gum Disease and Treatment

Jul 9 • 2 minute read

Different Types of Gum Disease and Treatment

If you or a loved one have ever experienced occasional tender gums or bleeding during or after routine brushing and flossing, chances are, you did not think much of it. Because these symptoms aren’t typically painful; most individuals tend to assume they aren’t anything to worry about. The reality is, these are often the telltale signs of the earliest, mildest form of gum disease, also known as gingivitis.

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth and is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. Because this gum infection is usually painless, you may not know you have it. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.

Below we will discuss the initial warnings signs of this condition, its different stages, and what you can do to seek proper treatment. 

Signs You May Have Gum Disease

Gum disease may occur at any age, but it is most common among adults. If discovered in its early stages, the condition can be reversed, so it is vital to see your dentist if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Gums that are red, puffy or swollen, or tender
  • Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
  • Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded
  • Gums that have separated, or pulled away, from your teeth, creating a pocket
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth

Gum Disease in Its Different Stages

There are three phases of gum disease:

Gingivitis-  the earliest stage of gum disease, it is the easiest to treat and prevent. An inflammation of the gums, it is caused by plaque buildup along the gum line. When brushing and flossing cannot remove the plaque, it produces toxins that can irritate the gum tissue, causing gingivitis. At this early stage in gum disease, damage can be reversed, since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet affected.

Periodontitis- at this stage, the supporting bone and tissues that hold teeth securely in place are irreversibly damaged. Gums may begin to form pockets below the gum line, trapping food and other irritants causing more damage. It is vital to seek proper dental treatment and instill diligent at home care to help further prevent future harm. 

Advanced Periodontitis- in this final and most detrimental stage of gum disease, the fibers, and bone that supports teeth are destroyed, which can lead to loosening teeth or tooth loss. This can significantly affect bite, function, as well as aesthetics. 

Seeking Treatment

By scheduling regular checkups, early-stage gum disease can be treated before it leads to more advanced forms and damage. If your condition is more complex, treatment such as scaling and root planing and other proper periodontal maintenance will be required. 

When detected in its initial stages, gum disease can often be reversed with professional cleanings and diligent at-home oral care. Dr. Hsiao Chen and her team of trusted dental care professionals have the compassion and skill to properly eradicate gum disease. Call our Stamford practice to schedule your dental healthcare treatment! 

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