The Three Stages of Periodontal Disease

When bacteria from plaque and tartar build up on your smile, it can infect not only your teeth and gums but also supportive soft and hard tissue. This condition, called periodontal disease, progresses in three stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. To protect your oral health, it is vital to diagnose and treat periodontal disease as early as possible. In turn, you should be aware of the signs and symptoms so that you can seek immediate and appropriate treatment. Our experienced team at Ridgewood Dental Associates in Ridgewood, NJ, can diagnose and treat every stage of gum disease in-office to ensure the highest-quality care from start to finish. 

image of healthy tooth versus periodontitis
Periodontitis can cause inflamed, bleeding gums and lead to the formation of periodontal pockets.

The Three Stages of Gum Disease

1. Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease and the only stage that is entirely reversible with the proper care. During this stage, plaque can build up on the gum line and cause inflammation. You may also experience one or more symptoms such as:

  • Red, tender, or swollen gums
  • Bleeding while brushing and flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Mild gum recession

If detected in its earliest stage as gingivitis, damage is reversible, as the infection has not yet spread to surrounding connective tissue. During a routine checkup, our team of hygienists can examine you for signs of gingivitis and perform a thorough cleaning. In addition, it is important to practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily to prevent plaque buildup. If left untreated, this condition can progress to periodontitis.

To protect your oral health, it is vital to diagnose and treat this disease as early as possible.

2. Periodontitis

Periodontitis affects the periodontal ligaments that hold the teeth in place. At this stage, the infection can cause irreparable damage to connective tissue, resulting in the formation of periodontal pockets between the teeth and gums. Symptoms of periodontitis include:

  • Gums that are swollen and have a bright red appearance
  • Tender or sensitive gums
  • Increased space between the teeth where periodontal pockets may form
  • Chronic bad breath or a persistent bad taste in your mouth
  • Teeth that feel loose and do not fit together properly

If you have periodontitis, we may recommend a deep cleaning to remove deposits of plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. During this procedure, also known as scaling and root planing, our team can clean and smooth the tooth roots to minimize your risk of plaque buildup. Our team can help you to manage periodontitis to prevent further progression. 

3. Advanced Periodontitis

Advanced periodontitis causes extensive damage to your overall oral health. This stage results in the loss of bone and tissues holding the teeth in place. In turn, your teeth may loosen, shift, or become misaligned, and extraction may eventually be necessary to eliminate the infection. Symptoms of advanced periodontitis include:

  • Constant bad breath
  • Gums that are swollen and bleeding
  • Severe gum recession
  • Deep periodontal pockets
  • Loose or misaligned teeth
  • Tooth loss

To treat advanced periodontitis, our practice offers guided tissue regeneration, which we can combine with Straumann® Emdogain™ gel to promote the regrowth of healthy fibrous tissue and bone. Detecting gum disease early can help to save you time and money on additional treatment and restorations.

Maintain Your Oral Health

Our practice is dedicated to protecting and preserving the oral health of our patients. From your first consultation through your procedure and aftercare, we will ensure all of your needs are met. If you are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease, contact our office by calling (201) 652-2474 or filling out our online form.

Drs. Jin Ha Joung, Mark Samani, and Min-Hee Cho.

Ridgewood Dental Associates

At Ridgewood Dental Associates in Bergen County, we pride ourselves on being able to handle virtually all of your needs in a single location. Dr. Jin Ha Joung, Dr. Mark Samani, and Dr. Min-Hee Cho are affiliated with:

  • American College of Prosthodontists
  • American Academy of Periodontology
  • Academy of Osseointegration
  • American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
  • American Dental Association

For more information about our services, contact our office or call (201) 652-2474 today.

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