The Different Stages of Periodontal Disease and What Treatment Is Right for You

Periodontal Treatments

Around 47% of American adults have some form of periodontal disease, which shows that it’s more common than we think.

Periodontal disease is problematic for several reasons, from causing receding gums to eventually destroying the bone. But if you’re unfamiliar with this form of oral disease, it’s difficult to know how to prevent or treat it.

Maybe that’s why you’re here; you want to learn about the different periodontal stages to reduce the risk of developing it.

Does that sound like you? No worries, we’ve got your back. Here’s everything you need to know about periodontal disease and periodontal treatments.

Common Causes

Before diving into the different types of periodontal disease treatments, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the main causes. The most common one is poor dental hygiene, which is the result of missing dental hygienist appointments and not brushing or flossing regularly.

If bacteria aren’t removed promptly, the gums around the teeth become infected and can result in gingivitis.

Another reason why people develop oral issues is if they’re heavy smokers. This is because smoking accelerates tartar buildup and, after years of tobacco use, they’ll likely see deep pockets in the gingival tissue.

Further, a periodontist will often blame a poor diet as the cause of periodontal disease. It’s important to note, malnutrition lowers the body’s ability to combat infections, which can result in unhealthy gums.

If you’re struggling in any of these areas, then check these dental services to stay on top of your oral health and reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

There are many signs that you may need periodontitis treatment. The most obvious examples are tender gums and bleeding around the teeth, especially when you’re brushing or flossing. You should also be aware of pus developing on the gums and of consistent pain in your mouth.

A dentist will diagnose periodontal disease by visually assessing your mouth and its condition. If they’re unsure, dentists may look into their patient’s genetic and biological information to determine which periodontal treatment will be the most effective.

If you notice these current symptoms, it’s wise to contact your dentist and ask about your condition. For instance, ask about what’s likely causing these issues and the best cause of action for your situation. And don’t forget to ask whether your dental insurance will cover the necessary treatment.

The Four Stages of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease doesn’t go from zero to 100. In fact, there are four distinct stages to consider, which should give patients hope if they’re in the early phases. Here’s everything you need to know.

Gingivitis

The first step is gingivitis and is the only reversible stage. This is because it means the disease hasn’t affected the bones yet. Note, you develop gingivitis if there is plaque buildup around the teeth, which results in persistent bleeding.

Although it’s less painful than the later stages, it’s important to improve your brushing and flossing routine to remove any stubborn food debris. You should also book an appointment with your dental hygienist because they have the tools to target and remove plaque.

Slight Periodontal Disease

Slight periodontal disease is the second stage and, luckily, is still manageable. If you’re in this stage, know that the infection has spread to the bone and starts slowly eroding it. Unlike gingivitis, the bacteria is more aggressive and you’ll suffer sore, bleeding gums.

Moderate Periodontal Disease

The third stage is considered moderate periodontal disease. This has a far larger probing depth, making it easier for bacteria to attack the bones and bloodstream. Because it causes severe damage, you’ll need to contact a dentist to thoroughly clean the area.

Advanced Periodontal Disease

This is the final stage of periodontal disease when the infection has developed into even more aggressive bacteria. Patients at this stage may lose their teeth and even suffer bone loss. If left untreated, stage four can result in gaps and stages in between the teeth, which can ruin your smile.

Treatment

The periodontal disease treatment will depend on how severe the problem has gotten.

If it’s in the first two stages, the dentist will prescribe a nonsurgical option, such as scaling or root planing. Note, the former removes tartar by using a laser or an ultrasonic device and the latter is when the dentist smooths the root sources to reduce the risk of developing further issues. Dentists will also recommend topical or oral antibiotics to minimize the infection.

But if you have advanced periodontal disease, you’ll likely need surgery. A common one is flap surgery, which lifts any areas of the gum that have receded. And because the bone is affected in this stage, the dentist will recontour the bone so it’s easier to clean the area and maintain healthy gums.

Another surgery for bone loss is getting a graft, which prevents tooth loss by holding your current one in place. It also creates a platform to encourage natural bone regrowth. Or, the dentist may recommend guided tissue regeneration where they place a special piece of fabric between the existing bone and your teeth that will gradually encourage the bone to grow back.

Know the Top Periodontal Treatments

Hopefully, you now know the top signs of the disease and the different periodontal treatments available.

Patients should be mindful of the symptoms of periodontal disease and the different stages, from gingivitis to advanced periodontal disease. Regardless of which phase you’re in, there is a treatment available, which gives you peace of mind.

Did you find this article helpful? If so, then, check out the rest of our site for more tips and tricks.

Jenny Wilson

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