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Downtown Dental

Stages of Gum Disease

November 3, 2022
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Posted By: Dr. Richard Rathke
complete set of teeth after going to the cosmetic dentist new orleans

Healthy gums are essential for lifelong oral health. However, many people forget about or ignore their periodontal health. Those with poor oral hygiene, some medical conditions, and certain lifestyle habits like smoking have a higher risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease should be treated in its earliest stages. At Downtown Dental, we can help prevent and treat gum disease, so you have a healthy, beautiful smile for life.  

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is the inflammation or infection of gum tissue. The two main types of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the most common and mildest form of gum disease and can be reversible. Usually, gingivitis has symptoms such as bleeding and inflamed gum tissue. However, left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, which is irreversible but manageable with professional dental care and excellent oral hygiene.

Gum Disease Signs and Symptoms 

Many signs and symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Sore or tender gums 
  • Inflamed or irritated gums
  • Red, dark, or purple gums
  • An altered bite 
  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Bleeding gums, especially when brushing and flossing 
  • Chronic bad breath 
  • Tooth mobility or tooth loss

If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, don't hesitate to contact our dental office immediately to schedule an appointment. Together, we can preserve your periodontal health and improve your condition. 

The Four Stages of Periodontitis 

  • Periodontitis Stage 1 – This initial stage of periodontitis is caused by a build-up of bacteria and plaque below the gumline. Our dentists treat stage one periodontitis with a deep clean, also called a debridement. 
  • Periodontitis Stage 2 – This moderate stage damages the tooth root's ligaments and sockets. 
  • Periodontitis Stage 3 – Stage 3 is severe with potential tooth loss or tooth mobility. Patients may also have gum recession. Periodontal surgery is typically recommended at this stage. 
  • Periodontitis Stage 4 – Stage 4 is severe, with potential tooth loss of all teeth. Patients may be referred to a periodontist or oral surgeon for specialized treatment. 

Treatment for Gum Disease in New Orleans, LA 

Gum disease can pose a threat to one's oral and general health. You can prevent and control gum disease by practicing excellent brushing, flossing, and receiving routine professional dental cleanings. 

Richard Rathke, DDS in New Orleans, provides patients with comfortable and effective gum disease treatment. If you have any signs of gum disease or would like to improve your periodontal health, please get in touch with our team at Downtown Dental.

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