Exploring the Three Stages of Gum Disease

Do you have gums that bleed when you brush them? Perhaps they appear red, tender, or swollen. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have gum disease. Did you know that periodontal disease does not often cause pain or discomfort? For this reason, many individuals are not aware they have the condition. However, there are other tell-tale signs that may indicate gingivitis or gum disease is present. Do you need Knoxville gum treatment? At the practice of Dr. Jack W. Haney, we believe that healthy gums are the foundation of a beautiful smile. Today, we will discuss the three stages of gum disease, and talk about the various treatments that can be performed to address the condition.

If you think you may have gingivitis or gum disease, consider scheduling a consultation with Dr. Haney at our Knoxville dental practice. Give us a call at 865-693-6886 to book an appointment. Read more about how we can serve your family’s dental needs.

Stage One: Gingivitis

The very first sign of gum problems is gingivitis, which is indicated by puffy, sore, or fire-engine-red gum tissue. Simply stated, gingivitis is your body’s reaction to plaque build-up on the teeth surfaces. When plaque accumulates, it begins to harbor bacteria. In turn, the bacteria irritate the gums. Some individuals are more prone to developing gingivitis, due to health conditions or genetic factors. In some cases, gingivitis is caused by hormone fluctuations during life cycle changes such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.

No matter what triggers gingivitis, there is a simple and straightforward solution. First, see your hygienist for a routine dental cleaning. Secondly, ask your dentist how you can improve your oral hygiene regimen at home. The only way to cure gingivitis is to remove the irritants that are causing the inflammation; and the only way to do that effectively is through brushing, flossing, and routine oral care. It is important to note that gingivitis is the only truly reversible stage of gum disease, as it has not yet affected the bone that supports the teeth. If you have gingivitis, Knoxville gum treatment could be the solution for you.

Stage Two: Periodontitis

If left untreated, gingivitis progresses into periodontitis. During this stage of disease, the infection in the gums begins to erode the bone around the necks of the teeth. This leads to the formation of deep periodontal pockets, in which further debris, bacteria, and plaque become lodged. At this point, it is impossible to reach the infection with brushing and flossing alone. In fact, even a regular dental cleaning cannot adequately clean pockets that are this deep.

In this situation, a deep dental cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing will be necessary. During this procedure, the gums must be numbed with local anesthesia, so the doctor or hygienist can reach deeper below the gums to sweep away bacteria and debris.

Stage Three: Advanced Periodontitis

Once periodontitis progresses to a severe level, the pockets around the teeth will continue to worsen. Teeth may become mobile, and they may even fall out over time. The bacteria also cause persistent bad breath and bad taste.

This condition cannot be treated without surgical intervention. To address advanced periodontitis, the gums are moved back, the infection and inflamed tissue is removed, and the gums are repositioned. Generally, you must be referred out to a periodontist for this type of treatment.

As you can imagine, gum surgery is far more expensive than dental cleanings. This is why routine dental exams and cleanings are so important. Even if you develop gingivitis, it can be treated much more efficiently (and affordably) if diagnosed at an early stage.

Schedule a Consultation with Us Today

If you have red, swollen, or tender gums, you may be in need of Knoxville gum treatment. At our practice, we can help you determine the best course of action, so you can reclaim your healthy gums and your beautiful smile. Contact us online anytime or give us a call at 865-693-6886.

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