Periodontal Therapy An Overview
Most adult patients who visit our Annapolis dental office will fall within a spectrum of periodontal disease, ranging from an inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) to a chronic disease of the gums and bone (periodontitis). Periodontal disease involves multiple stages and can progress very quickly if not treated.
With gum disease, it is common to experience no obvious signs or symptoms. For this reason, regular visits to the dentist are critical for preventing and managing gum disease. We recommend that patients schedule dental cleanings and examinations biannually, about every six months.
Common signs of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen or sore gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores or pus between gums and teeth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Changes in the fit of dentures
Stages of Periodontal Disease
Gingivitis– The first stage of periodontal disease is classified as gingivitis. This stage of the disease can be treated by a thorough dental cleaning and an increase in the patient’s oral care routine. During this stage, treatment can reverse the infection and there should not be any permanent damage. The most common symptoms of gingivitis include bleeding gums while brushing, redness, and inflammation.
Slight Periodontitis– The second stage of periodontal disease is known as slight periodontitis. During this stage, gums become more inflamed and begin to pull away from teeth. As gums pull away from teeth they form pockets that house more bacteria. As bacteria gathers in these pockets infection may begin to spread to the bone.
Moderate Periodontitis– The third stage of gum disease is known as moderate periodontitis. At this stage infection has reached the bone and may effect patients systemic health. Previous damage from moderate periodontitis cannot be reversed, however treatment is highly recommended and can be used to prevent future damage.
Advanced Periodontitis– The last stage of periontitis is known as advanced periodontitis. Patients are at risk for tooth loss as the infection will have reached the bone and tooth root. Treatment can prevent the disease from worsening but cannot reverse prior damage.