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Understanding the Stages of Gum Disease

Understanding the Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a condition in which the gum tissue and the bone supporting the gums become infected and inflamed. Depending on how advanced it is, gum disease can cause sufferers to experience anything from redness, bleeding, and gum sensitivity to loose and shifting teeth. 

Due to modern diets high in sugars and processed carbs, gum disease is quite common, as the harmful bacteria in the mouth that form plaque and cause inflammation feed on carbohydrates. 

Most people don’t know they have it until the disease progresses. For example, smokers are at a higher risk of developing gum disease but less likely to experience symptoms in the early stages of the condition. 

We want to help you understand this common oral health problem that can cause tooth loss in severe cases. Below, we asked Dr. Kenn Kakosian, our expert, to explain the stages of gum disease. 


Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is often reversible. The most common risk factors for gingivitis are not brushing and flossing regularly, smoking, eating a diet high in processed carbs, and having plaque on your teeth.

If you catch gum disease at this stage, professional cleanings alongside a daily oral hygiene routine can reverse the damage. 

Symptoms of gingivitis include pink, inflamed gums, bad breath, and some occasional bleeding that’s noticeable when brushing your teeth. 

Early Periodontitis

In the second stage, as the bacterial infection continues, the damage is often not reversible. However, there are still treatments that can halt the progression of the disease. These include deep dental cleaning and root planing. 

Early periodontitis occurs when the gum pockets pull away from the teeth and the gumline begins to shrink. 

Moderate Periodontitis

At this point, the bacterial infection has reached the jawbone, and teeth begin to loosen. The infection may end up in the bloodstream. Treatments include root scaling to remove as much bacteria as possible.

Advanced Periodontitis

At this stage, there’s a real danger of both painful abscesses and tooth loss. Bacteria buildup between the gums and the teeth may cause pus to form, making it nearly impossible to chew on food without experiencing bouts of pain. 

Catch gum disease early 

Gum disease is one of the most common ailments of modern society. It can cause irreversible damage and tooth loss. In the later stages, it can also lead to the inability to replace missing teeth with implants because it eventually impacts the jawbone as well. 

If you want to reduce your chances of developing gum disease, or if you’re already experiencing symptoms and need some relief, contact us to schedule an appointment

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