Periodontal disease is commonly broken up into three major levels or “stages.” Each one is slightly different.
The first and most minor stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis refers to a stage of gum disease characterized by inflammation of the gums, but there has not been any permanent damage to the tissues of the gums and teeth. This means that gingivitis, unlike later stages of the disease, is reversible. With proper intervention from a dentist like Dr. Robert Miller, you can completely eliminate it from your mouth.
However, if you do not get appropriate treatment immediately, your gum disease may progress into the second stage, often called “periodontitis.” In this stage, the bacteria will attack the gums and supporting tissues of your teeth, and cause irreversible damage. You may still be able to control the infection and prevent further damage, but you can never completely eliminate your gum disease. To keep it under control, you will need to have regular periodontal cleanings every 3-6 months for the rest of your life. This is why early intervention for periodontal disease is so critical.
The final stage of periodontal disease is usually called “advanced periodontitis.” In this stage of the disease, many of your teeth have likely been permanently damaged and will require extraction and replacement. Your teeth may loosen in your mouth or even fall out entirely, and you’ll experience other serious symptoms like pus forming between your teeth and gums.
It is absolutely critical that you get treatment for gum disease as soon as you can to prevent it from progressing. The sooner you get care for gum disease, the better your chances are of completely eliminating it and restoring your smile.