The 4 Stages of Gum Disease

Oral Health and Oral Hygiene
The 4 Stages of Gum Disease

When plaque and tarter accumulate on teeth the bacteria level increases. You body tries to support the area by killing off the bacteria but it’s impossible for the body to clear the problem on it’s on. Instead it takes a different approach and backs away from the problem. In the early stages of gum disease, the gums begin to recede which creates pockets between the teeth and gums. More bacteria can accumulate here. If not addressed, infection, tooth loss and health problems can occur. Find dentistry in Watertown to see if you have gum disease or to ask about Zoom Whitening in Watertown.


The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. Symptoms include bad breath and bleeding gums after flossing. To check for gingivitis, a dentist uses a periodontal probe. The probe is inserted between the gum tissue and teeth and the depth of the periodontal pockets is measured. If your teeth are normal they will have a depth between one and two millimeters. With gingivitis, the pockets may measure two to four millimeters deep. Gingivitis is highly treatable and your dentist in Watertown will create a treatment plan which may include improving your oral hygiene procedures. 

Early Periodontitis

Gingivitis will advance to early periodontal disease if not treated. This condition will give a patient inflamed gum tissue that can result in early bone loss. Gums will recede and bleeding during flossing will be more frequent. Treatment includes in-depth cleanings such as scaling and root planing where tarter is removed and teeth surfaces are smoothed. 

Moderate Periodontitis

If not treated early periodontitis will turn into moderate periodontitis. This condition causes bone loss to occur. A patient may experience bleeding, pus, pain and infection around the teeth. Teeth may become sensitive as gums recede and teeth may become loose. This stage creates oral infections that can move into a patient’s blood stream and cause an inflammatory response throughout the body. 

Advanced Periodontitis

Patients with advanced periodontitis will experience severe pain when chewing, a foul taste in the mouth and bad breath. Teeth can fall out at this stage and remaining teeth will move to fill the voids. Heart disease, cancer and diabetes can result with this condition. This is a serious stage that requires immediate help. 

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