What Are the Different Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease affects nearly half of Americans over the age of 30. This inflammatory disease has been linked to other health issues, including heart disease and diabetes. It’s important to recognize the signs of gum disease and consult your dentist for treatment to prevent irreversible damage to your dental and overall health.

A dental checkup


Gingivitis is the earliest and mildest stage of gum disease. This condition is caused by an inflammatory reaction to the buildup of dental plaque on your teeth. Gingivitis is marked by gums that bleed during flossing, brushing, or eating. You may also notice your gums appear swollen and dark red or purple, and they may feel tender to the touch. While this discomfort may prompt you to brush or floss less, good dental hygiene and a professional dental cleaning are necessary to prevent gingivitis from advancing.


Periodontitis is the second stage of gum disease, which occurs if gingivitis is left untreated. As the bacteria in your mouth continue to multiply, they produce toxins that cause the body to begin attacking its own tissues. This causes the breakdown of healthy gum and connective tissues, causing the gums to pull away from your teeth and expose the tooth roots. You may notice that your teeth appear longer and are sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks.

Advanced Periodontitis

During the third and final stage of gum disease, the bone and connective tissues of the jaws begin to deteriorate rapidly. The gums continue to pull away from the teeth, creating deeper pockets that harbor bacteria. Eventually, your teeth may feel loose or begin to shift as the tissues holding them in your mouth are permanently damaged. Although this damage is irreversible, your dentist can treat the infection and stabilize or replace loose or lost teeth to restore your smile.

If you are concerned about gum disease, contact Sanford Dental Excellence of Orlando by calling 321-257-8258 today. We offer comprehensive dental care and non-surgical gum treatment to combat periodontal disease. You can find more information about gum disease and how your dentist can restore your healthy smile on our website.

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