Stages of Gum Disease

An estimated 75 percent of Americans have periodontal (gum) disease. This disease can lead to tooth loss and other potentially serious health conditions. Swollen gums are just one of the symptoms of periodontal disease and should not be ignored. Dr. Dan Gholson, a board certified periodontist for La Crosse, WI, can thoroughly examine your teeth and gums and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.

The main stages of periodontal disease are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. The first stage, gingivitis, is often characterized by swollen gums caused by plaque buildup around the gum line. Improper brushing and flossing allows plaque to form on the teeth resulting in red and swollen gums. At this stage, you may notice bleeding when you brush and floss. The good news is that gingivitis can be reversed if treated promptly.

If swollen gums are left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis. At this stage, pockets begin to form between your gum tissue and teeth, creating an area for bacteria to flourish. The gum tissue will separate from the teeth as periodontal disease begins to destroy the supporting tissue and bone. Immediate treatment is vital to prevent further damage and tooth loss.

Aggressive treatment is necessary once periodontal disease has reached the advanced stage. At this point the pockets have deepened, the supporting tissue and bone have receded, and teeth may become loose. Loose teeth can shift and affect the alignment of your bite, causing even further destruction.

Daily brushing and flossing along with regular dental cleanings can help avoid periodontal disease or curtail the advancement. If you have swollen gums, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your oral health and overall well-being. Dr. Gholson, a board certified periodontist for La Crosse, WI, will help you decide on a personalized treatment plan after a thorough examination of your teeth and gums.

If you have swollen gums or any other periodontal disease symptoms, call Dr. Gholson today and schedule an appointment to avoid any further damage to your health.