The CDC estimates that more than 64 million adults in the United States have gum disease. That means nearly half of the adult population has a mild, moderate or severe form of the disease. Odds like these can be a little scary, but fortunately there are things you can do to identify the earliest symptoms of periodontal disease so you can seek prompt treatment by a periodontist.
Gum Disease Stages
Gum disease has three different stages: gingivitis (the initial stage), periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Of these three stages, gingivitis is the only one that can potentially be reversed with good oral care. Here are the most common symptoms associated with each stage:
- Gingivitis: This initial stage of gum disease typically presents itself with mild bleeding of the gums during flossing and brushing. This is due to gum inflammation caused by a buildup of plaque at the gum line.
- Periodontitis: During this stage of gum disease, symptoms become more pronounced. Gum tissue becomes more swollen and bleeds more easily. Chronic bad breath is also a hallmark of periodontitis. Unfortunately, the fibers and bone that support your teeth become irreversibly damaged during this stage of the disease. The good news is that regular treatments can manage symptoms so you can live comfortably.
- Advanced Periodontitis: This final stage of gum disease frequently causes the teeth to loosen due to damaged supporting bone and fibers. If aggressive treatment is insufficient to save the teeth, they could fall or out or require professional removal.
If you have symptoms of gingivitis, don’t wait until your symptoms become worse before seeking treatment. As mentioned already, gingivitis is reversible, while periodontitis and advanced periodontitis are not. Dr. Stephen Strout is a skilled periodontist in St. Augustine, FL, who offers treatment for all stages of gum disease. It’s important to see a periodontist for gum disease issues because they receive additional specialized training.
If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms, there’s no better time than now to get treatment for periodontal disease symptoms. To tackle the disease before it progresses further, schedule an appointment with Advanced Periodontics and Implant Surgery today.