The Three Stages of Gum Disease | Kenilworth Dentist

We all want a bright and shiny smile, but we rarely think about a healthy one. Nearly 75% of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. When you aren’t practicing proper oral hygiene, you’re allowing the bacteria in plaque to remain on your teeth, which will eventually infect your gums. Let’s break it down:

Gingivitis. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease, and can be noticed by inflamed gums, red or swollen gums, which is mainly caused by plaque buildup due to poor dental hygiene. This stage of the disease can also cause your gums to bleed, which you may notice when brushing or flossing your teeth. While no gum disease is good, this is the only stage of periodontal that is reversible with periodontal treatment.

Periodontitis. At this particular stage, the supporting bone and tissues will be irreversibly damaged. Your gums will also start to separate from your teeth, forming pockets below the gum line that will eventually become infected. Thankfully, with periodontal treatment and improved oral hygiene, you and your dentist can usually prevent any further damage.

Advanced periodontitis. This is the final stage of periodontal disease – not only has the infection affected your teeth, but it has also destroyed the fibers and bones that support your teeth. This can affect your bite and cause your teeth to shift, loosen and/or even fall out. Unfortunately, if periodontal treatment can’t save your teeth, your dentist may have to remove them, which means more time in the dental chair.

Gum disease is nothing to laugh at but can be easily prevented with a little daily dental TLC.

For more information regarding gum disease, contact Dr. Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit

Dr. Cathy Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.