Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a prevalent oral health issue that affects countless people across the UK. While it often starts subtly, the consequences of untreated gum disease can be severe, including tooth loss and potential health implications. At Exeter Advanced Dentistry, we’re dedicated to helping you understand the signs and symptoms of gum disease and the comprehensive range of treatments available to preserve your oral health.
Understanding Gum Disease
Gum disease typically progresses through several stages, with the early stages often going unnoticed. As well as implementing an effective daily brushing and flossing routine, it’s essential to recognise the signs and symptoms of gum disease so you can seek treatment to prevent further damage to the teeth or gums.
Stage 1 – Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and is primarily characterised by the inflammation of gums. Symptoms also include redness or swelling around the gums, bleeding when brushing or flossing, gum tenderness or discomfort, and bad breath. It’s normally caused by the accumulation of plaque or inadequate oral hygiene, but it can be treated with proper oral care, regular dental cleanings and good brushing and oral rounties.
Stage 2 – Early Periodontitis
Early periodontitis represents the progression of gingivitis to a more advanced stage of gum disease. Receding gums, increased sensitivity, potential mobility or shifting of the teeth and pockets between the teeth and gums are all classic signs of early periodontitis, caused by tartar and bacteria that invades the deeper tissues. Deep cleans, root planing and scaling may be necessary to remove bacterial deposits and promote healing in the gums. .
Stage 3 – Moderate Periodontitis
Moderate periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease which poses a threat to the gums and bone. Gum recession, deeper pockets, continued tooth mobility and changes to the tooth alignment are signs to look out for. Usually, this requires some more extensive dental treatment, from thorough scaling and root planing, pocket related surgery or laser therapy.
Stage 4 – Advanced Periodontitis
The most severe form of gum disease is advanced periodontitis, which is marked by extensive gum and bone damage. Sufferers are likely to experience significant tooth mobility or tooth loss, pain in the affected areas, potential health implications and severe gum recession, which can involve surgical procedures as a form of treatment. In critical cases, gum grafts, bone grafts and dental implants may be considered to help treat the affected areas and compensate for tooth loss.
Regular dental check-ups, professional cleanings, and good oral hygiene practices are essential for gum disease prevention and management. We recommend brushing teeth at least twice a day for around 2 minutes, flossing regularly, and using a dentist-approved toothpaste. Early detection and timely intervention are crucial to prevent gum disease from advancing to more severe stages, so be sure to attend regular appointments with your dentist and hygienist who’ll keep an eye out for any potential symptoms.
Book an appointment
If you suspect you have gum disease or notice any symptoms that are concerning you or causing discomfort, book an appointment with one of our friendly dentists.