Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It is the earliest stage of infection, during which the infection simply resides in the gum tissue and has not had a chance to affect the bone. Gingivitis is reversible if proper treatment is sought out immediately; it is the only stage of gum disease that is reversible.
Signs of gingivitis include bleeding when brushing, bad breath (halitosis), and inflammation or swelling in the gums.
In order to successfully treat gingivitis, a cleaning will be done to remove all plaque and tartar around the gums.It is important that the patient will continue to return periodically for regular check-ups and cleanings to maintain the health of their teeth and gums.
Mild Periodontal Disease
Mild periodontal disease occurs when the infection begins to progress past simply affecting the gum tissues. During mild periodontal disease, the infection begins to infiltrate the patient’s bone, causing the beginning stages of bone loss.
Signs of mild periodontal disease include increased bleeding and inflammation in the gums, bad breath (halitosis), and pockets between the gum tissue and the teeth that measure around 4-5 millimeters.
Unlike gingivitis, mild periodontal disease can not be reversed, but it can be prevented from progressing with timely treatment. To treat mild periodontal disease, the patient will undergo a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. During a scaling and root planing, the hygienist removes deposits of bacteria-laden plaque and tartar from both above and below the gum line. Anesthesia is often given during this procedure. If necessary, an antibiotic solution will be placed beneath the gums to help prevent bacterial growth. Also, a laser therapy may be used to disinfect the pockets around the gums and debride the affected gum tissue. The patient will return every three months for periodontal maintenance rather than every six months for a “regular” cleaning. At the periodontal maintenance procedure, the hygienist will go where needed into the deeper pocket to insure that they are clean of plaque and calculus.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
When periodontal disease progresses to the “moderate” stage, the pockets between the tooth and gum reach 6-7 millimeters. This larger amount of space permits even more harmful bacteria to penetrate the gum line.
It is during the moderate stage that the bacterial infection begins to pose a risk to not only the gum and bone, but the rest of the body, as well; the infection now has the potential to enter the bloodstream, which can, in turn, cause serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and more.
Treatment for moderate periodontal disease is scaling and root planing. Since the infection is typically more advanced, an antibiotic solution is almost always placed beneath the gums in and the laser will be used after the scaling and root planing has been done. The patient will be closely monitored every three months on a periodontal maintenance program. .
Advanced Periodontal Disease
Under advanced periodontal disease, the patient faces up to 90% risk of bone loss due to their condition. The patient may experience extreme halitosis, bleeding in gums even when untouched, pus drainage from the gums, extremely loose teeth, and tooth loss. Periodontal pockets measure upwards of 10 millimeters. The patient faces an extremely serious risk of developing serious health conditions as a result of their gum disease. The patient is then referred to see a Periodontist (a dentist who has specialized training in gum disease and treatment)
Treatments for advanced periodontal disease include:
- Scaling and root planing
- Gum grafting
- Periodontal pocket reduction surgery
In cases in which the condition of the teeth have been extensively compromised, your dentist may recommend having the affected teeth removed after consulting with the periodontist. . Your options for replacing the missing teeth - whether it be dental implants, dental bridges, or dentures - will be discussed with you at length.
EZ Dental: Gum Disease Treatment in San Jose, CA
EZ Dental is proud to offer the most comprehensive and personable periodontal treatment in San Jose, CA. Our team of dental professionals will work hard to help you maintain the healthiest smile possible.
For more information about gum disease treatment, or to get scheduled for an appointment in our San Jose dental office, give us a call at (408) 227-6000.
For more informative dental blogs, check out our Blog page.