STAGES OF GUM DISEASE
The Dangers of Gum Disease
Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk for many serious health complications, including:
• Heart Disease
• Premature Birth or Low Birth-Weight Babies
• Pancreatic Cancer
• Memory Loss or Dementia
• Head and Neck Cancer
• Kidney Disease
It has been estimated that 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease which can be linked to serious health complications and causes dental problems that are avoidable.
The 3 Pathologic Stages of Gum Disease Are:
Stage 0: Healthy Gingiva
– Gingiva is part of oral mucosa that covers the alveolar processes of jaws and surrounds the tooth.
– It is composed of thin outer epithelium and underlying connective tissue.
– Healthy gingiva consists of 4 anatomical portions:
Gingival sulcus, Free gingiva, Interdental gingiva and Attached gingiva.
– These structures surround the teeth and provide a seal around them. Compared with the soft tissue linings of the lips and cheeks, most of the gingivae are tightly bound to the underlying bone which helps resist the friction of food passing over them.
Stage 1: Gingivitis
– Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease caused by plaque and bacterial buildup around the gum.
– Gingivitis (“inflammation of the gum tissue”) is a non-destructive periodontal disease.
– The most common form of gingivitis, and the most common form of periodontal disease overall, is in response to bacterial biofilms adherent to tooth surfaces, termed plaque-induced gingivitis.
– Gingivitis is reversible with good oral hygiene.
Stage 2: Periodontitis
– If gingivitis is left untreated, the condition can progress to periodontitis.
– At this stage, the supporting bone and fibers that hold teeth in place are irreversibly damaged.
– The spaces between the teeth and gums begin to form “pockets,” which are deep hollow areas around the teeth that trap plaque and bacteria, ultimately leading to tooth loss. These deeper pockets allow plaque, bacteria, and tartar to accumulate, destroying the structures that support the teeth.
Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis
– In this final stage of gum disease, periodontitis progresses and becomes advanced periodontitis.
– Bacteria causes destruction and destroys the connective tissues and bone that support the teeth.
– The pockets that formed in the previous stage becomes much deeper.
– Teeth can shift or become loose.
– The loose teeth that move around in the mouth may affect the occlusion.