Stages of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is a condition that affects millions of Americans. While most cases of periodontal disease are successfully treated before serious complications develop, untreated instances of periodontal disease can lead to issues such as gum recession and tooth loss. Dr. Joseph T. Mormino teaches patients how to recognize the signs of the various stages of periodontal disease so that they know when to seek dental care. Dr. Mormino offers restorative dentistry treatment for periodontal disease at his Staten Island, NY, dental practice. These treatments eliminate infection, restore oral health, and preserve the strength and structure of the smile.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. Gingivitis can develop when bacteria and plaque that have built up on the teeth work their way beneath the gum line. It is not unusual for individuals to develop gingivitis at some point in their lives. Most patients do not even realize that they are suffering from gingivitis until the condition is diagnosed at a routine dental exam and cleaning. Gingivitis rarely results in any noticeable side effects, though some patients may be aware that their gums are more red and tender than usual. A routine dental cleaning is usually enough to treat gingivitis and restore the health of the gums.
The formation of periodontal pockets is a sign that gum disease has progressed beyond the stage of gingivitis. As the gum tissues react to infection, they tend to pull up and away from the teeth. This creates pockets of space that can collect food particles, bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Periodontal pockets increase the risk of a root canal infection and threaten the stability of the teeth. Common symptoms of patients who have developed periodontal pockets include swollen, tender gums, bleeding when brushing, and halitosis (consistently bad breath). Patients with periodontal pockets will likely need to undergo a deep cleaning procedure, known as scaling and root planing, to eliminate infection and encourage the growth of new, healthy gum tissues.
The most advanced stage of gum disease is known as periodontitis. It is very rare for gum disease to advance to this stage unless a patient has neglected at-home oral hygiene practices and professional dental care. When periodontitis is present, the patient will have deep pockets between the base of the teeth and the gums. In some cases, the roots of the teeth may even be exposed. Other symptoms of periodontitis include tooth pain, deep red gums, inflammation, and bleeding. Without treatment, periodontitis is highly likely to lead to tooth loss. In many cases, scaling and root planing can treat periodontitis and restore a healthy and stable foundation for the teeth. However, some patients may need to undergo oral surgery to ensure that the gum tissue heals and regenerates.
If you are experiencing any of the potential symptoms of periodontal disease, it is important to seek professional dental care as soon as possible. Periodontal care is the only way to restore the health of the gums and prevent more serious complications. Contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more about the restorative dentistry services offered by Dr. Joseph T. Mormino. We look forward to hearing from you!