Stages of Gum Disease

You may have a general understanding of gum disease, recognizing that it may result in significant negative side effects. You likely even know that this disease can, in fact, result in devastating changes to your oral health. However, what do you know about the different stages of gum disease? Did you know that at first, the disease is reversible? The more you know, the better your chances of maintaining a healthy smile, including excellent gum health for many years to come. We encourage you to learn more about each stage and to seek treatment when you need it most.

The Stages of Gum Disease

  • Gum disease begins as a problem that is manageable and even reversible if we detect it early enough. Once it progresses too far, however, we can treat the problem but we cannot cure it. An important factor to understanding its progression is “gum pockets.” When you suffer from periodontal disease, your gums pull away you’re your teeth, forming pockets. The worse the problem, the larger the pockets. Fortunately, the sooner you visit us, the better your chances of avoiding the need for long-term periodontal care. Learn more:
  • Gingivitis. Considered “mild gum disease,” this first stage is characterized by pockets that begin to exceed 4mm in depth. You will receive a deep cleaning to remove bacteria and plaque buildup as well as instructions for home practices. In most cases, your gum tissue will heal.
  • Moderate Periodontal Disease: Once you pass gingivitis, you will need a more thorough deep cleaning because your gum pockets have reached a depth of 4 to 6mm. You may need to visit us for more than one appointment, so we can numb your tissues and work on one quadrant of your mouth at a time.
  • Advanced Periodontal Disease: Once gum pockets reach 6 to 7mm in depth, treatment will begin with deep cleaning. However, you may also require additional treatment as well as oral surgery to minimize the pockets.